Venus Williams looks set to be side-lined for the foreseeable future, after revealing via a YouTube video to fans this week that she has sustained a hamstring injury in Auckland at the start of the year.
The injury ruled her out of the Australian Open, as she became one of a litany of big names to withdraw from the year's opening major. But the extent of Williams' injury had been unknown, until the revelation this week that the 7-time Grand Slam champion would be out for an extended period of time.
To be honest, I was super overwhelmed by the injury. I've been injured a long time now, and I couldn't believe I had to go back to rehab. After about a week, I started setting up my doctors' appointments, and started thinking about what was next for me and trying to really get a handle on how much time it'll take for me to get back.
This is the kind of injury that you have to let it rest a little bit before you even can start to do serious rehab. But I've started. It's definitely [been] a slow start. You have to walk before you run, and right now, I'm starting to walk pretty good. Hopefully, I'll be running pretty soon, but for now, I will not be playing tennis
Fans of the 42-year-old will be left bitterly disappointed. Following the retirement of her younger sister, Serena - which the tennis world is still somewhat reeling from - the year had started promisingly for the former World No. 1. Winning her opening WTA match in Auckland, there was a sense of optimism around what Venus could yet achieve as a veteran of the tour.
While this injury will have punctured much of that early season optimism, Williams remained upbeat about her recovery. With luck, tennis fans will be able to see back in action before too long.