Venus Williams lasted just six minutes in her third round Australian Open 2011 match before an injury to her pelvic muscle forced her to retire against Sandra Zahlavova. For Venus, it’s the first time an injury has ever forced her to retire from a Grand Slam, and the first time she’s retired from any match due to injury since August of 2004. She had played in 294 consecutive matches without an injury retirement before Friday.
Afterward, Williams spoke about the disappointment, and what she can take away from this Australian Open 2011 experience:
“It’s super disappointing because this is just not how I envisioned my Australian Open being. I’ve never had to retire from a Grand Slam especially after working so hard to pull out the match the other day. Just hoping for some magic that I could recover. I just wanted to give 100%. I mean when I think of myself and my career I don’t make any excuses ever to myself or anyone. For me, it was just important to give 100%. I think I learn from experiences like this. If I’m not ready to play or if I’m still hurting maybe it’s better to stop. That’s just learning from life. I’ve learned now more or less what my limits are. Just learn from that the next time.”
Williams said the pelvic muscle injury extremely limited her mobility. Venus said she, “couldn’t move” on the court Friday after spending the last 48 hours trying to recover from the injury she suffered in the second round.
Venus says she won’t play again until she is 100 percent healthy, which she hopes is in time for the Fed Cup next month.