(BET) — On a day that seemed destined to serve as the annual litmus test for the state of American tennis, the US Open got a blast of good and bad. Venus Williams, a two-time Open champion trying to resurrect her career at age 31, pulled out of the tournament before her second-round match against No. 22 Sabine Lisicki. Williams said in a statement that she has Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain. Williams missed the hardcourts season with what she described then as a viral illness, but she easily won her first-round match Monday night, beating Vesna Dolonts of Russia, 6-4, 6-3, and had proclaimed herself healthy. But her mother, Oracene Williams, said yesterday, “It’s something that’s been worrisome for a long time.’’
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