Venus Williams, who last played over three months ago after withdrawing from the U.S. Open, will play her sister Serena Williams in an exhibition match next week in Colombia. Venus, who recently slipped out of the top 100 and fell to number 103 in the WTA world rankings, withdrew from the 2011 U.S. Open citing fatigue and joint pain, was diagnosed with the autoimmune ailment, Sjogren's Syndrome. She told an Italian newspaper that a change in her diet to increase her vegetable intake has relieved her of her symptoms. She is targeting a January return to the WTA Tour at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
"I've completely changed my diet and filled it with a lot of vegetables," said Venus. "In the meantime, I've continued to keep myself fit with tennis and in the gym. I'm very confident in my progress.''
After playing against her sister in Medellin next week, Venus will join her sister against Italians Francesca Schiavone & Flavia Pennetta in another exhibition match on Dec. 3 in Milan.
"Within the next 12 months, I'm expecting to get back to the top of the rankings in singles and doubles. I want to play all year long," said Venus. "I've still got a lot of work to do but it doesn't scare me—I'm used to it.''