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After two early exits for Petra Kvitova and Na Li and a no-show for injured Kim Clijsters, the US Open Women’s draw is left with no reigning Grand Slam champs and top female players continue to disappear. 

Two-time US Open champ
Venus Williams pulled out on Wednesday with an illness. Williams has apparently been recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome that saps energy and causes muscle fatigue.

Fellow US Open player Mardy Fish tweeted his support, saying “Bummed to hear about Venus having to pull out with an illness...Get well soon V!”

After some careful Googling, I came across the Sjogren Syndrome Foundation. According to the SSF, it’s a “chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands.”

As is any autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome can have scary consequences like dysfunction of the organs a higher risk of developing cancer. But Venus is optimistic, saying “I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.”

Despite this diagnoses, Williams was seen warming up for her match which would have been against 22 seed Sabine Lisicki. Lisicki heard the news of her opponent’s withdrawal shortly before they were scheduled to play.

At 31 years old, the outlook of this Williams sister's career is uncertain.
After health issues caused her to withdraw from several other recent events, many fans were anticipating a comeback here at the US Open. Now fans, family, and fellow players just hope she gets well soon.