“Missed My Freedom When I Didn’t Have It”: Venus Williams Reflects on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published 12/27/2020, 1:00 PM EST
Venus Williams of USA plays a forehand during her round of 16 match against Lauren Davis of USA at the ASB Classic on January 03, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)


Over the years, tennis great Venus Williams has done great justice to the sport. She and her sister Serena have contributed immensely to tennis. The 7-time grand slam winner has brought joy upon her fans by providing high octane sport entertainment. Her ability to produce such powerful groundstrokes have thrilled the tennis circuit.

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However, Venus’ dominance in the game has diminished as compared to her past years’ performances. Her last grand slam win came back in 2008. She did reach the finals at the 2017 Australian Open, but eventually lost to younger sister Serena. In the same year, she made it to the finals at Wimbledon and fell short to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

In 2020, the major talk around was the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on humanity. The tennis season came to a standstill. Events got shuffled. There came a point where survival became doubtful. Reflecting on those moments, recently Venus voiced her thoughts.

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Venus Williams of the United States celebrates defeating Laura Siegemund of Germany during her third round Women’s Singles match on Day Six of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Venus Williams: Looking forward to the simple pleasures in life

The 5-time Wimbledon champion said, “I look forward to the simple pleasures in life that are currently absent, like being able to give someone a hug or even being squished together at the bar with other human beings and have a drink being spilled on me. I never thought I would miss that! I missed my freedom when I didn’t have it, I miss other humans close to me.”

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The simplest of things mean the most given the current situation. Venus also spoke about how she didn’t enjoy living in a bubble due to the protocols followed at tennis events. 

Williams also said that playing in empty stadiums didn’t thrill her much as compared to playing to huge crowds. She said, “The echo of empty stadiums rang louder with each contest. The silence was too much to bear. Right now I can’t handle not being without the fans. I learned, well we all learned, we can’t do this alone. Even when the play returned, it was still lonely. Being in a bubble is no fun.”

Venus didn’t have the best of seasons this year. She lost in the first round of the three majors played this season. Fans will hope to see a revived version of the American in the coming season. 

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Rohan Kollare

582 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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