Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has spoken about her injury issues that led to her not playing after the US Open. Williams said she “really got injured” at Wimbledon where she slipped on the grass during her first-round loss to Elina Svitolina. Williams played three more tournaments in North America. The 43-year-old has revealed plans to return in March.
Venus Williams has revealed she shut down her 2023 season after the US Open to give her “knee a chance to heal” after spending most of the summer “pretty injured”.
Williams, 43, made her return on grass in June after six months out.
She played the Libema Open and Birmingham before Wimbledon, where she slipped and appeared to injure her knee in a first-round defeat to Elina Svitolina.
She continued to play across the North American hard-court summer but ended her season after defeat to qualifier Greet Minnen in the first round of the US Open.
Looking back at her summer, Williams said on her YouTube channel: “I went to Wimbledon and sadly slipped in the third game of the match and really got injured. I spent the whole summer pretty injured with my knee, like really struggling with it.
“I didn’t want to miss the US Open, made it there, but definitely not my best performance after so much time off after Wimbledon. So, I decided not to play anymore the rest of the year and just give my knee a chance to heal.
“What was super interesting is once I just sat down, I felt better, I would say. After the US Open, I would say maybe like four weeks later I got up, I remember it was a Sunday and I got up and I was like ‘Oh my God! I’m not in pain’.
“Just like pain from sitting around, like my knee hurts, my knee is swelling every day. It’s very difficult to play tennis or any sport when you have like the swelling cycle, when your body won’t stop swelling.”
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams has played sparingly over the last few years as her career enters its twilight.
She has said that over the summer she couldn’t get the “swelling down” on her knee and also “lost range of motion”.
“With the swelling I was having, I lost range of motion. You lose strength when your knee is swelling, also your muscles don’t activate anymore. So, your muscles are not activating, you can’t train, so you lose muscles. It’s a whole cycle.
“This is what I was going through in the summer. I couldn’t get my swelling down, I lost range of motion, the nature of my injury was you know, all this stuff. But anyway, I was dealing with all that, so, I decided not to play any more.”
Williams is set to miss the 2024 Australian Open but has previously revealed plans to return in March, potentially ahead of Indian Wells and the Miami Open.
“I am targeting March, that’s when the tournaments go back to the States, so my goal is to be up and running when tournaments come back to the US,” she said in October on social media.