Williams, playing for the first time since advancing to the U.S. Open final in September, withdrew from the tournament after beating Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-2, 6-4.
“It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with tennis. I’ve actually never liked sports and I never understood how I became an athlete,” Williams said in an interview earlier in the week, after her very first match. “I don’t like working out. I don’t like anything physical. If it involves sitting down or shopping, I’m excellent at it.”
“I don’t love tennis today but I’m here. I can’t live without it,” she said. “There’s a difference between not loving something and not being able to live without it.”
Williams, 30, has been bothered with injuries and ailments in recent years. She was sidelined for about 10 months after suffering life-threatening blood clots after her Wimbledon victory in July 2010. Despite her feelings about sports and her sprained ankle, Williams intends to try to play in the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of 2012.
“I’m going to take a couple of days off — not too many — and see how I feel,” Williams said. “I’m still hopeful of playing the Australian Open.”