• WTA Tour

Venus plots comeback after swapping steak for salad

ESPN staff
November 13, 2011 « Sturridge defends Chelsea veterans | Chartbeat test »
Venus Williams has played just four tournaments this season © Getty Images
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Venus Williams has followed the lead of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and overhauled her diet in a bid to regain her fitness.

The seven-time grand slam champion has endured a season to forget, slipping outside of the world's top 100 after a series of injury and health problems which have restricted her to just four tournaments in 2011. Williams has not been seen since the US Open in September, when she pulled out with an autoimmune disease.

Williams suffers with Sjogren's Syndrome, a chronic disease where white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands and can cause dysfunction of organs and body systems, causing the American to suffer with severe fatigue.

But despite this latest setback, Williams has no intentions of hanging up her racket, and has taken a leaf out of Djokovic's book in a bid to propel herself back up the rankings. Djokovic has credited much of his success this season to his gluten free diet, while Andy Murray has recently followed suit.

"I changed my diet completely, so lots of vegetables," Williams said. "I [altered] my mind frame completely because I was the person who always ate their steak first and their salad second.

"My goal next year is to play a full schedule. It will take some work to get there, but I'm no stranger to hard work. I love the game. The racket feels right in my hand and I'm planning on going right back to where I was at the top of the rankings in the singles and doubles sometime within the next 12 months."

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