Australian Open 2014: Is it end of road for Venus Williams?
Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
Sydney: Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round after losing to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia on Monday. On the opening day of the first Major of the year, the American lost her match 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Melbourne Park.
Venus started-off well, in fact, she dominated the proceeds in the beginning by winning the first set quite comfortably but couldn`t sustain her good start and lost the next two sets and the match as well.
For those, who have been following tennis from close quarters, ouster of Williams wasn’t that shocking; rather it gave another reason to her critics to speculate about her retirement.
Williams hasn`t won a Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2008 and is without a title since Luxembourg in October 2012, but she made the final of the warm-up Auckland International, losing a three-set final to Ana Ivanovic.
She was diagnosed with energy-sapping Sjogren`s Syndrome in 2011, post which her performances have been not up to her own standards.
Unlike, younger sister Serena, Venus certainly wasn’t the contender to win the Australian Open, but her first round exit wasn’t expected either.
Though Venus is not contemplating retirement. After the defeat, she was quoted as saying, "The last 12 months I have had issues, but this year I definitely am looking forward to having a good run and feeling well. I think for me I just have to keep playing tournaments."
However, if we go by her current form and supporting stats then it is her third opening-round exit in last six Major appearances. This only indicates that she is heading towards the twilight zone of her illustrious career.