Venus fights ankle injury, falls in straight sets

    Matt Walsh is a Melbourne-based sports journalist who willingly travels far and wide to watch any sport. Not only has he seen NFL in Dallas, football in London, baseball in Arlington and hockey in Boston, he’s covered F1, AFL, Wimbledon and the Australian Open for a number of media outlets.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams suffered a right ankle injury during her 6-1, 6-0 second-round loss to Italian veteran Sara Errani at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Williams, 40, was approaching the net while 5-1 down on serve in the first set against Errani and rolled the ankle after trying to stabilise herself to return the ball.

The former world No. 1 immediately cried out in pain and took an injury timeout to receive treatment on the ankle, but was visibly in distress as the doctor and physio worked to determine the issue.

Williams took a second medical timeout for her troublesome left knee to be restrapped, but was hobbling and struggling to walk between points after the break, which lasted more than 15 minutes.

Williams, competing in her 21st Australian Open, looked on the verge of retirement, but having called it quits just once in her 350-match Grand Slam career, battled hard to stay on the court.

After looking shaky on foot for the remainder of the first set, which Errani won 6-1, Williams was less restricted but far from her best in a gutsy second set showing.

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