sorry if this has already been posted. it goes a long way to explain Dubai.
Injured Williams falls at first hurdle in Dubai
DUBAI : Venus Williams will be off the WTA Tour for at least three weeks with a recurrence of an old stomach injury which worsened during a dismal 5-7, 6-7 loss to Italy's Silvia Farina Elia in the first round of the Dubai Open.
Venus, who had also been playing with both wrists strapped, acquired a further conspicuous bandage halfway throught the match, on her right hand where she had a troublesome blister.
However during an error-ridden display it was hard to know whether the bandage helped or hindered the elder Williams sister, or even whether she was in the right frame of mind to compete.
"I was smiling because my stomach hurts, and my hand's going crazy and still somehow I was in the match," she said.
"But even if I had won the second set I don't know if I would have played the third and if I had won the match I don't know if I would have stayed in the tournament.
"I thought why am I out here. To the people who came to support me - I'm sorry I wasn't well."
Venus admitted that it was similar to the injury she had during the 2003 Wimbledon final, and that unless there was a marked improvement she might miss the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami, starting on March 23.
All this was a significant disappointment to the Dubai tournament which had managed a rare coup - the presence of both Williams sisters in a tournament outside a Grand Slam.
With the sisters drawn in the same half there had been hopes of their first competitive meeting for 19 months; instead spectators will have to console themselves with the first appearance in this tournament of Serena Williams, who starts on Wednesday against either Elena Bovina of Russia or Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
Venus had been too upset with her physical condition to give much credit to Farina Elia. The former top 20 player from Italy sometimes played steadily and sensibly, but found it hard to cope with the unpredictable fluctuations of her high profile opponent, who lost the first three games limply, made a surge to get back to 5-5, and then played another bad game to drop serve immediately.
Farina Elia just about managed to serve out for the set, saving a break point in the process, but it was harder for her to contain another desperate surge in the second set from Venus, who found her survival instincts galvanising her once again.
The fifth seed came from 2-5 down to lead 6-5 and was within a couple of points of levelling at a set-all in the next game. Even more disconcerting for Farina Elia, four match points came and went as Venus hung on hard from 2-6 down in the tie-breaker to reach 6-6.
But the former world number one blew all her efforts with two uncharacteristic shots - a backhand counter-drive into the net after some consistent rallying by Farina Elia, and a bizarre volleying error from a good position on match point.