‘I was killing it, then the grass killed me’: Venus Williams laments knee injury that led to early Wimbledon exit, insists: ‘Right now I’m in shock… I can’t believe this has happened happened”
Venus Williams was left cursing her luck and searching for answers after her Wimbledon return was ruined by a knee injury.
The 43-year-old had undergone months of rehab for a hamstring problem to get here, but, three games after her first-round match against Elina Svitolina, she slipped, fell and screamed in pain.
Like the warrior that she is, Williams limped through and attacked enough game-winners to make it a game, going down 6-4, 6-3.
But this is the latest in a nearly two-year succession of injuries. Her spring of resilience runs deep, but how long can she keep coming back to it?
“I have to figure out my plan,” Williams said. ‘Right now I’m in shock. I can’t believe this has happened. I’ve been away from touring for quite some time. This is not what I want for myself.
Venus Williams said she feels ‘in shock’ after injuring her knee and losing in Round 1 at Wimbledon
Williams, 43, started well before slipping on the net and injuring himself.
‘This kind of fall, I did nothing wrong. I only went for the ball. Those kinds of things are difficult to process emotionally, mentally, and physically.
During Novak Djokovic’s victory in the previous match on Center Court, play was stopped for an hour due to slippery grass.
But Venus refused to blame the surface: “Grass will be inherently slippery,” he said. It was just bad luck for me.
Williams came into this fortnight with a win in Birmingham under his belt and talking gleefully about playing into his 50s.
And she stepped out onto Center Court, pummeling Svitolina with a succession of groundstrokes.
“I started the match perfectly,” he said. “She was killing him, then the weed killed me.”
Williams’ movement was badly affected and he hit a succession of low volleys, clearly unable to bend his knee enough to reach the ball.
The crowd did their best to carry it out. ‘Heart of a champion Venus,’ cried one. ‘One point at a time, V,’ yelled another.
Williams’ movement was severely affected after the incident that stunned Center Court
“It was really a challenge,” he said. I have played with many injuries and I have won many games injured. It’s almost a specialty of mine. I just couldn’t figure it out today.
Svitolina advances to the second round where she will face Belgian Elise Mertens.
The 28-year-old Ukrainian has given birth to a daughter and suffered the invasion of her homeland since her last visit to Wimbledon, and since her return to tour she looks like a woman on a mission.