Venus Williams (Getty Images)

After withdrawing from the U.S. Open because of symptoms associated with an autoimmune disorder, Venus Williams says that she's eager to return to play.

Last week, after dropping out of the tournament, the tennis champ released a statement announcing, "I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue, but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon."

On Sunday she reiterated to fans on Twitter that retirement isn't in her plans, despite the painful joints and other symptoms that can be associated with Sjorgen's syndrome, saying, "Thank you everyone for all your well wishes! It's good to have support! Looking forward to getting better and back on tour!" and adding, "Thank you 4 sharing all your sjogrens & auto immune stories w/me. Feels good to know I'm not alone! feel better to you and your loved ones!"

Meanwhile, sister Serena Williams tells People magazine that her sister's diagnosis made her realize there are more important things than tennis. "I love playing tennis and I love the battle," she says, "but I realize that life is so precious." Thankfully for the Williams sisters and sports fans, it didn't take a career-ending illness or injury to come to that conclusion. 

Read more at Essence and the Associated Press.

In other news: Report: Robert Mugabe Has Prostate Cancer.