Venus Williams disappoints Sixth Wimbledon title at age 37

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Tim Ireland/ AP Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, right, holds the winners prize after beating Venus Williams of the United States, left, in the Women’s Songs last match Saturday, July 15, 2017, at the Wimbledon Tennis Champions in London.

Saturday, July 15, 2017|10:14 a.m.

LONDON– Through everything, Venus Williams kept working, kept making every effort, kept considering yet another Wimbledon championship.

Through it all, through the tough days of getting used to life with an energy-sapping autoimmune illness, through the disappointing days of first-round losses that caused questions about retirement, through all of the building up years, she pressed on. And on Saturday, facing Garbine Muguruza in the last, Williams had a shot at her sixth title at the All England Club– 9 years after her last one and, extremely, 17 years after her first.

Williams two times was a point from taking the opening set prior to unraveling completely, dropping the last nine games and losing 7-5, 6-0 to Muguruza, who made her very first Wimbledon championship.

“This is where you wish to be. I want to win. I don’t wish to just get to a final,” said Williams, at 37 the earliest female to play in a championship at the grass-court major since 1994. “It’s practically playing a little better.”

She appeared ready to take control Saturday, ahead 5-4 in the first set and with Muguruza serving at 15-40. However Williams netted a forehand to close a 20-stroke exchange on the very first set point. And on the second, she sent a return long. Muguruza would go on to win that video game– and the next 8, too, to make her third Grand Slam prize.

Williams owns 7 of them– five at Wimbledon in 2000-01, 2005, 2007 and 2008; two at the United States Open in 2000-01.

But her coach, David Witt, offered one explanation for the way everything came undone for Williams versus Muguruza.

“It was simply nerves,” Witt said.

“She never, I thought, looked like she was relaxed out there,” he added.

Williams got here in England a couple of weeks after being associated with a two-car mishap in Florida. Two weeks after the crash, a 78-year-old passenger in the other lorry passed away. At a press conference following her first-round success at Wimbledon, Williams was asked about the episode, and she tried to respond, before cleaning away tears and briefly leaving the room to compose herself.

Witt stated they had not discussed what occurred with each other once the competition started, hoping Williams might “just concentrate on the tennis.”

Up until late in the very first set Saturday, Williams did play rather well.

In 2011, she revealed she had actually been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, a condition that can trigger fatigue and joint discomfort. Williams has actually since spoken about how she relied on a plant-based diet plan and found out other ways to obtain by. A half-dozen exits from majors after her opening match made some think Williams might stop playing tennis, not to mention go back to its most significant stages.

“There were certainly,” Williams said this week, “some issues.”

However she never lost her love for the sport or a desire to obtain her game back in order.

“I’m simply very stunned that she’s starving to keep winning. She has won nearly whatever. She’s not (still) young, to be eagerly anticipating all these matches. She simply reveals this durability,” Muguruza stated. “I don’t know if I will be like this @ her age.”

The greatest initial sign of a renaissance for Williams came throughout a go to the Wimbledon semifinals a year earlier. Then, this January, she got to the Australian Open final for the first time because 2003, losing to her sibling, Serena. And then came these previous 2 weeks and her first appearance in the Wimbledon last considering that a loss to Serena in 2009.

“I have actually been in a position a lot of times this year to contend for big titles. That’s the sort of position I want to keep putting myself in,” Williams stated. “It’s just about overcoming the line. I think I can do that.”

She was asked more than once by press reporters Saturday whether the Sjogren’s or the accumulated tiredness or her age played a role in the way the match unfolded. But Williams deflected those concerns, rather providing appreciation of Muguruza, whose power and precision gave the American issues.

“Credit to her,” Williams said. “She just dug in there.”

Williams hit five double-faults, 3 in one video game and when to obtain broken to start the second set. She finished with 25 unforced mistakes, more than twice as many as Muguruza.

“She began pressing in the 2nd,” Witt observed, “and balls were flying out like you do not see.”

This was Williams’ 16th Grand Slam final, 2nd of 2017.

She sounded specific that it won’t be the last.

Asked throughout the on-court trophy discussion if she had a message for Serena, who is off the trip while anticipating an infant, Venus said: “Oh, I miss you. I attempted my finest to do the same things you do, but I believe that there’ll be other opportunities. I do.”

After all that’s gone on, why doubt her now?

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