Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Venus Williams won the Luxembourg Open after beating Monica Niculescu on Sunday.
Venus Williams won the Luxembourg Open after beating Monica Niculescu on Sunday.

Venus Williams' victory over illness is commendable

It was a delight to see the former world No 1 return after suffering from Sjogren's syndrome to win her 44th singles title.

After two years of struggle with injuries and an incurable autoimmune disease, Venus Williams has just added a 44th singles title to her impressive collection that includes seven grand slams.

The 32-year-old American's triumph over Monica Niculescu in the Luxembourg Open final on Sunday is her first tournament win since Dubai and Acapulco in February 2010. She missed the second half of that year with a knee injury. Hip and abdominal injuries followed.

Then came the particularly dire news as she pulled out of the US Open last year, hours before her second-round match: Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an energy-sapping disease. It forced her to take a seven-month break during which, on days, she struggled to climb out of bed.

On some days, she experienced severe pain in her joints, and just moving required a great effort.

"My biggest challenge? Learning how to live like this," she said at the French Open earlier this year.

Slowly, but surely, she is doing that. She pushed her WTA ranking back up to 41, after the victory in Luxembourg, which was only her 11th tournament in the past year and first since the US Open.

It has certainly not been easy, but like with most challenges she has faced in the past, the elder Williams sister has overcome this one as well.

Her fans will now be wishing her a healthy 2013.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Roberto Martinez is daring Everton to dream. Paul Ellis / AFP

Martinez v Moyes is a clash of purist v puritan

Roberto Martinez’s positivity made him the perfect choice in 2013 to manage Everton and to build on the solid foundations David Moyes had left.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National