Monday September 5th, 2011

Venus Williams was forced to pull out of the U.S. Open with Sjogren's Syndrome. (Mehdi Taamallah/Abacausa)

Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open before her second-round match because she is suffering from an autoimmune disorder known as Sjogren’s Syndrome. Here's a sampling of reaction from her peers on both Tours:

• "I know she's a fighter and she's really strong. She's great. I think she's really happy now that she knows what it is after all this time. I think, if anything, it's going to help her now to treat it and go forward."

-- Serena Williams

• "It's tough especially for an American to have that happen at the U.S. Open. But at least if she knows what it is, it's a bit comforting. At least you know where to go from here, but it's terrible timing. I can only wish her the best. She's been a great player, a great champion. Hopefully she'll stay around for the women's game for a long time still."

-- Roger Federer

• "I wish Venus the fastest recovery possible. She's a great champion. It's great for tennis if she's healthy and she's playing, no matter if I have to play her or I don't have to play her. I want all the players to participate in the Grand Slams. That's what creates a great competition."

-- Vera Zvonareva

• "I don't think either one of us really knows how serious it is. Hopefully it is not. I hope that it's not obviously the end of her career. I still feel like, although she's a bit older, she's still one of the fittest players on Tour and one of the most dangerous when she's playing well."

-- Maria Sharapova

• "I think she's a tough girl and I think she'll come back. You know, it would be unfortunate if she couldn't. Serena and Venus both are amazing players and it's nice to have them in the women's sport. I hope she comes back. It makes it more challenging."

-- Sabine Lisicki

• "Obviously, when I think of her, I think of Wimbledon. I feel like that's just where she belongs. You know, it just seems right there.

"My memories are a lot different. My memories are when we're 10 years old and we're on the courts next to each other and it was all ahead of us. There was all this hype around these two girls but they weren't playing tournaments, so everyone was talking about how good they were, how good they weren't. Everyone had an opinion. Turns out they were pretty good."-- Andy Roddick

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