09/01/2011 09:22 am ET | Updated Nov 01, 2011

Venus Williams Pulls Out Of U.S. Open Due To Rare Disease

Venus Williams is out for U.S. Open following a recent diagnosis of Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain and exhaustion. The two-time Open winner, who had not played since Wimbledon, was set to make a comeback after winning her first match this week when she received the diagnosis. “I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from this year’s US Open," Williams said in a statement. "I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue, but right now I am unable to.”

The 31-year-old Williams, who recently adorned the cover of Hamptons magazine with her sister Serena, plans to rest up, do the right thing, follow doctor's orders and get back on the tennis court. "With proper medical management and treatment, I expect to be in full form once again," she said.

In her first match at the Open, Williams trounced Vesna Delonts of Russia 6-4, 6-3. It was her first match in two months.

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