Venus Williams opens up: "With swelling cycle it's difficult to play"

The legendary American tennis player has spoken out on a topic that should no longer be a taboo in women's tennis

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Venus Williams opens up: "With swelling cycle it's difficult to play"
© Gladys Vega / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Venus Williams posted a video on her YouTube account in which she talks about her 2023 tennis season, especially giving a clear cut to what happened at the US Open. The legendary American tennis player talked about her injury at Wimbledon and also opened up about a topic that should no longer be a taboo for women's tennis: the menstrual cycle.

"I didn't want to miss US Open, but definitely not my best performance after so much time off after Wimbledon. I decided not to play anymore the rest of the year and just give my knee a chance to heal. I got Wimbledon and I sadly slipped in the third game of the match.

I really got injured. I spent the whole summer pretty injured with my knee. What was interesting is once I just sat down, I felt better. After the US Open, I would say maybe like four weeks later I got up, I remember it was a Sunday and I got up and I was like 'Oh my god!

I'm not in pain. Like my knee hurts, my knee is swelling every day. It's very difficult to play tennis or any sport when you have like the swelling cycle, when your body won't stop swelling," explained the iconic American tennis player.

About the cycle

The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormonal changes, which can be modified by using hormone-based contraceptives. Various structures closely linked to each other contribute to its maintenance.

Each cycle can be divided into three phases, based on events in the ovary or uterus. The ovarian cycle consists of the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase, while the uterine cycle is divided into menstruation, proliferative phase and secretory phase.

Stimulated by the gradual increase in the amount of estrogen in the follicular phase, bleeding stops and the lining of the uterus thickens. The follicles in the ovaries begin to develop under the influence of a complex interaction of hormones, and after a few days one of them, or occasionally two, becomes dominant.

Venus Williams