Loss 1-6, 0-6 to Sara Errani in the second round of the Australian Open on February 10, but Venus Williams was praised for her will to fight.
After a failed save when the score was 1-5 in the first set, Venus Williams screamed in pain. The 40-year-old player had to use two consecutive rights to medical care and couldn’t stop crying. The Williams sister suffered a serious injury to her right ankle. Before that, Venus joined the fight with pain in her left knee – where she had to bandage.
Venus, though limping, refused to give up. She won two more points and lost the first set 1-6. In the second set, the 41-year-old was almost unable to run, but still led 40-0 in Errani’s delivery game. At the end of the set, Venus saved two match points, but still had to hang the racket 1-6, 0-6. This is the first time that the Williams sisters have lost to their non-top 100 opponent in the Australian Open.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” commented Portuguese journalist Jose Morgado. “Venus can barely move, but she doesn’t surrender. I will remember forever the spirit of a champion she showed today. What happened is what she was.”
“I’m sorry for her,” said former world number five Sara Errani of her rival. “But after the injury, she still hit very well. It’s not easy to play against an injured opponent. She sometimes hit very hard, then very light. I’m sorry, I hope she’s fine. Venus is a true champion. It is an honor for me to play against her in such a large stadium. “
Venus has won the Grand Slam seven times, while Errani has entered the 2012 Roland Garros final and was once number one doubles. “The most impressive and inspirational 1-6, 0-6 loss you have ever seen”, journalist New York TimesCommented Ben Rotherberg.
Winning Venus, Sara Errani will meet Hsieh Su-wei in the third round on February 12. The Williams sisters will also play in this round, meeting Anatasia Potapova.