What’s wrong with Venus Williams?
“I just was feeling dizzy, a little sick to the stomach,” she said. “Was just having some energy problems. I’m not really sure what’s wrong with me.”
Neither does anyone else. After making 56 unforced errors in her agonizingly close quarterfinal match with Jelena Jankovic, Venus made 35 this afternoon—compared to 26 winners—in a straight-sets loss to Justine Henin.
Williams said she’s been feeling strange—dizzy, tired, depleted—since she got two days off after the fourth round. That’s when she told her mom, Oracene Williams, that something was wrong.
Oracene spoke to a group of reporters afterwards and revealed that Venus was feeling was sick after Wimbledon and was diagnosed with anemia.
“She was happy when she found out she had anemia and she thought that was it,” said Oracene. “Now there’s something else wrong. We need to get this checked out.”
Venus told Oracene she was feeling sick after her match against Ana Ivanovic. It was a match where Richard Williams told me that something seemed a little off. Oracene recalled Venus telling her that when she hits a ball it feels like the ground beneath her is moving (sort of like vertigo). Oracene spent the last two days racing to Whole Foods buying up oranges for Venus, finding anything that could boost her energy.
Venus’ boyfriend, Hank Kuehne, told me last week that he spends her matches paying close attention to her body language. While packing up the Williams family Lexus this evening he told me: “She looked zapped. I won’t know what’s wrong until I get in in the car with her tonight.”
Venus was asked if she told her sister Serena about the apparent illness. “Serena was my opponent in the draw, too. I didn’t tell her how I was feeling,” she said laughing.
Maybe it’s just fatigue after playing a three-set match the other night, or maybe it’s something serious. The only thing that we do know: Venus didn’t have the energy to keep up with Justine Henin today.