Venus Williams Withdraws From The US Open After Being Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease*

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Vensus Williams has pulled out of the U.S. Open, according to Sports Business Journal’s Daniel Kaplan.ESPN says the reason given was an “unspecified illness,” cancelling her second-round match just minutes before it was set to begin.

Her opponent, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, will advance to the third round in a walkover.

Venus entered the Open as an unseeded player for the first time in 14 years. She won her first-round match easily over Vesna Dolonts.

The women’s bracket has already lost French Open winner Na Li and Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova. Only six American women remain in the field.

UPDATE: Williams announced in a statement that she was recently diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks tear and saliva glands, and also causes fatigue and joint pain.

It doesn’t sound like the disease would career or life threatening, but it would require managament and extra recovery time.