VENUS WILLIAMS played through the pain barrier and was in tears as she hobbled out of the Australian Open.
The five-time Wimbledon winner had to undergo medical treatment as she was hammered 6-1 6-0 by Italian Sara Errani in the second round on Melbourne Park.
Seven-time major winner Williams, 40, had her left knee taped up and needed medical assistance after appearing to sprain her right ankle towards the end of the first set.
The elder Williams deserves real admiration for her bravery and perseverance to carry on playing for 75 minutes despite being injured.
At times, she could barely move and only six of her 50 serves were unreturned by Errani.
Other players would have called it quits and not carried on but Williams was determined to go out on her terms and not hand her opponent a walkover result.
Understandably, she could not offer any resistance out on the John Cain Court and it was no great surprise Errani made the most of a wounded opponent.
Qualifier Errani, 33, will now play Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei player in the third round.
Williams took to Instagram after the defeat and said: “You can’t always prepare for the triumph of the disaster in sports or in life.
“You can’t control it all. What you can control is how you handle the ups and the downs.