Despite her third round loss to Petra Kvitova on Friday afternoon, Venus Williams defiantly proclaimed following the contest that she has no intention of retiring following her exit from the tournament she won on five separate occasions.
Williams, who was the oldest player left in the draw on Friday, took her fellow former champion to three sets, but ultimately dropped serve at 5-5 and lost the match 5-7, 7-6(2), 7-5 to the Czech No. 1.
Following the match, Williams, who has taken part in 17 Wimbledon tournaments, was asked if this would serve as her last match at The Championships. She did not appear to think so.
“No, people have been trying to retire me since I was like 25. For some reason in tennis we always do that to our players,” Williams said when asked if this might have been her Wimbledon farewell. “It’s weird. We don’t encourage them to stick around. It’s like, ‘Get out of here’. So I’m not getting out of here.
While Williams has not gotten close to challenging for a Grans Slam title in years, she did win her third consecutive title in Dubai this season, and has played like a rejuvenated, motivated player throughout the year so far. It is for this reason that she does not even consider retirement at the moment.
“I think this year has been a great year for me. I’ve had some tough losses, but I’ve learned a lot from them. I’m finding my way back on my feet. I’m proud of myself for what I’m achieving on the court.
Willams also mentioned that she was making up for lost time, since she wasted years of her professional career dealing with Sjogren’s Syndrome, a little-known autoimmune disorder that causes fatigue and joint pain.
“I’ve missed big blocks of my career off the court on injury. That has kept me regenerated. “I’ve got extra steam because I have to make up for lost time.”