Stop the presses. Wait until you here this — Venus Williams isn’t — as in ISN’T — retiring.
Yes, she’s 34-years-old. Yes she has Sjogren’s Syndrome, an energy-zapping auto-immune disease, but she’s dealing with all of that just fine.
And there was nothing about Williams’ 5-7, 7-6 (2), 7-5 third-round loss to Petra Kvitova that was horrifying, embarrassing, or signaled it’s time for Venus to go. A five-time champion here in the past, she looked pretty darn solid against Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion during the two hour, 30 minute encounter. Yes, in the end, she was the one to flinch first, losing her final service game, which happened to be the final game of the match, but so what?
Venus, looking very elegant with a white head band wrapped around her braided bun, had barely stepped into the press conference when a reporter was already wondering if she was emotional after the match because she thought it was her last singles match at Wimbleodn. When said reporter tried to get her to respond to that question a second time, she retorted, “No need for a follow-up on that one. Sorry.”
Good for you, Venus, for putting the guy in his place.
A bit later on I spoke up and asked Williams if she’s at all amused by the fact that despite her winning the prestitious Dubai title this year — world No. 1 and sister, Serena, was in that tournament draw — and generally playing quite well this season, including against Kvitova, people seem to be desperate to retire her from the game?
Here’s the great answer that Williams had to that query.
“No, people have been trying to retire me since I was like 25,” she responded. “For some reason in tennis we always do that to our players. It’s weird. We don’t encourage them to stick around. It’s like, ‘Get out of here.’
And then she continued on with the answer that the gentleman earlier was trying to extract, although probably not with the answer he was expecting.
“So I’m not getting out of here,” she added, defiantly. “I think this year has been a great year for me. I’ve had some tough losses, but I’ve learned a lot from them. I’m finding my way back on my feet. I’m proud of myself for what I’m achieving on the court.”
And she even admitted that she isn’t discounting the possibility of being able to take another major — in singles — to he current collection of seven.
“I want win Grand Slams,” she said. “Everybody does. You don’t get ‘em. Look at what happened today. No one gives it toyou . They snatch it away and say, ‘Mine.’ That’s what I’ll have to do is snatch it, say, ‘Mine,’ too. Growl if need be. That’s what it takes.”
My suggestion: Instead of trying to find out when Williams wishes to leave us behind and move on to her other activities, why not just enjoy her desire to still come out and aim high.