Tennis News Wire -
Venus Williams is fighting a back injury problem which influenced her Cincinnati semi-final loss to Li Na, with the veteran American who is already battling an energy-sapping syndrome looking to the positive in hopes of being 100 per cent for the upcoming US Open.
Williams said she felt back pain during her pre-match warm-up but did not seek help from the trainer until mid-match. "I pretty much couldn't serve," said the 32-year-old, a seven-time Grand Slam winner. "But I wanted to try, especially since this was my first semi-final of the year. I wanted to try to see if I could get to the final but it didn't work out for me."
The unseeded threat gave Li a challenge before taking the loss 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. Now Williams is focussing on her return to New York, an event she missed in 2011.
"It's one match at a time. It's like dealing with the circumstances you're dealing with at that very moment, that very round. That's what I'm thinking going to go into the Open - not necessarily about good form or bad form, but going into that one match and executing and playing that person that's across the net from me."
The elder Williams, who won her last title in 2010, insists she is looking only at the positives. "Right now my priority is figure my back out ASAP. The Open is eight, nine days away, and I still want to be able to get on the court and practice, too.
"I want my serve to be there, too. That's my lifesaver. We'll see."