Competition
  • Final ATP World Tour
Final ATP World Tour
dominic_thiem Dominic Thiem Dominic Thiem
-
matteo_berrettini Matteo Berrettini Matteo Berrettini
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novak_djokovic Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic
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roger_federer Roger Federer Roger Federer
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COMPLETED
roger_federer Roger Federer Roger Federer
7 6
matteo_berrettini Matteo Berrettini Matteo Berrettini
6 3

Emotional Venus breaks down after first round win

WIMBLEDON 2017

Emotional Venus breaks down after first round win

Emotional Venus breaks down after first round win

TOBY MELVILLE

REUTERS

Venus Williams is rightly viewed as a challenger at the All England Club this week but her presence is overshadowed by the recent Florida car crash.

With five Wimbledon singles titles to her name, her usually dominant sister Serena absent and a decent run of form ahead of the grass season, Venus Williams is rightly viewed as a challenger at the All England Club this week.

But her involvement in a fatal motor accident, which led to the death of a 78-year-old Florida man, has left her understandably in an emotional state - generating support from others in the game and also concern over whether it will hurt her bid for a sixth title.

After winning her first-round match against Belgian Elise Mertens in straight sets, the 37-year-old Williams broke down in tears during a press conference when asked about how she was coping with the incident.

Venus Williams

Devastated

"There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and ... yeah. I'm completely speechless," Williams said before leaving the room.

Last week, Palm Beach Gardens police released a preliminary report saying she was the driver at fault in a June 9 accident that injured Jerome Barson, a passenger in the other car. Barson was taken to a Florida trauma centre where he died 13 days later, according to the Palm Beach county medical examiner.

Kvitova support

Petra Kvitova, two-time Wimbledon winner and one of the favourites again this year, said she was sure that it was tough for Venus to focus on her game.

"I think it's difficult, especially in her position. I mean, every traumatic situation is always tough. I feel like for women it's more difficult because we are more sensitive and more emotional than ... guys. So I feel like it's not easy," she said.

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova during the first round match against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson

Kvitova recently had to cope with her own dramatic situation after she was knifed during an attempted robbery at her home in the Czech Republic in December.

The 27-year-old was out of the game for over five months while her hand healed. She acknowledged the differences with the Williams situation, but she said she understood it can be difficult to focus.

"I mean, you still want to be focused on each point that you are playing, but sometimes you just get upset with something else. It's just difficult to switch for the tennis again.

"I know that she doesn't really have a good time right now, but I wish her all the best," she said.

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