World raves for Venus’ incredible bravery
Venus Williams has crashed out of the Australian Open in a 6-1 6-0 loss but the veteran has won hearts all over again for her brave performance.
It was the 40-year-old's record 21st Australian Open campaign but after rolling her ankle late in the first set, she played out the rest of the match, despite being steamrolled by Italian qualifier Sara Errani.
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The seven-time grand slam winner has only retired hurt once in her 350 match career at the major events and didn't want to make it a second.
It came while Venus was down 5-1 in the first set when she approached the net and rolled her ankle, screaming in agony and requiring medical attention.
The American had her ankle strapped as she cut a dejected figure, but decided to gamely fight on.
Williams, who also had strapping to her left knee reapplied, was noticeably hampered and could barely exert force on serve as the match petered out.
"I'm not happy to win like that," Errani, ranked 134, said. "I'm so sad for her. It isn't easy playing someone injured."
While Errani won easily, social media was all about Venus as she added to her legend with the incredible performance.
I don’t know if this contributed to the misstep, but I had thought Venus looked a bit stiff before this as well. Didn’t seem to be moving with ease. #AusOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 10, 2021
That was the most impressive, inspiring, life-affirming 1-6, 0-6 loss you’ll ever see.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 10, 2021
Thank you, Venus.#AusOpen
Venus is holding back tears. This is really hard to watch.— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 10, 2021
Oh no... Venus has ankle injury.— 😷☃️ Derrick Clifton (@DerrickClifton) February 10, 2021
Did the ball hit her ankle or did I miss something? Her screams were piercing and it seems as though she's in a lot of pain. #AusOpen
All these years and I still love to watch Venus Williams play tennis. At 1am late night at Aussie Open. Doesn’t matter. Hard to see her in tears just trying to stay on the court.— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) February 10, 2021
6-1 6-0 for Sara Errani over injured Venus Williams in the 2d round of the Australian Open but Venus's grit, not the scoreline, is what will stick with most of us— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) February 10, 2021
Nothing left to prove except to herself#AO2021 pic.twitter.com/SZ1GAePRbR
An amazing 27 years after making her professional debut, two-time Australian Open finalist Williams had beaten Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in the first round.
Errani next plays Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan who upset eighth seed Bianca Andreescu.
She will also be able to cheer her sister Serena on as the 23-time grand slam winner easily defeated Nina Stojanovic 6-3 6-0.
Originally published as World raves for Venus' incredible bravery