Tuesday July 10th, 2012

By C.W. Sesno, SI.com

Venus Williams (right) lost in the first round of Wimbledon, but won the doubles title with sister Serena. (Landov)

Wimbledon doubles champion Venus Williams went on CBS This Morning on Tuesday to talk about Wimbledon, grunting, her diagnosis and battle against Sjogren's syndrome and her rivalry with sister Serena. You can watch the interview here, and some excerpts are highlighted below.

On Serena winning singles and doubles:

"We've done that a handful of times, you know? It's such an honor to be in the singles final. And to be in the doubles finals, it's like, wow. I can't believe we're in both finals. So we wanted to kind of sweep."

Who would win, Serena or Venus?

"I'd have to say me, but she'd have to say her and then there's going to be a big feud and the friendly sisterhood would be over. But we both believe in each other so much and at the same time, we have so much self belief and I guess the match would just go on and on. It wouldn't end."

Do you like playing Serena?

"That was our dream, to play each other in major finals, and we've been able to do that. We've lived our dreams."

What are the actual effects of Sjogren's syndrome on you and your body?

"The thing with autoimmune disease is that it can manifest in so many different ways. So, it affects the whole body. And for Sjogren's, it's dry eyes and dry mouth are the hallmark symptoms, but fatigue can be so heavy that sitting in a chair is a huge effort. So, as a professional athlete, if you have fatigue, then that's tough.  You can also have joint pain, you can also have issues with your internal system. So for me, fatigue is something that I'm always working on."

Is there too much grunting? Is it a distraction, or it just is what it is? "I grunt, sorry. ... For me, I see the ball and that's it. That's all I see. I don't hear anything. And when the match is over, then I enjoy, hopefully, some applause and people enjoyed the play. But I think that's what the serious competitors are, you don't hear anything. You're in the zone on the court."

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