Venus Williams is not the first tennis player to appear in the ESPN Body Issue. She is not even the first Williams sister to appear in the annual display of athletes in the nude. But Venus Williams might be one of the most courageous.
During the shooting for the issue, Williams talked about her ongoing battle with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes white blood cells to attack a person's moisture-producing glands.
"At my worst point, I wasn't able to play tennis at all," says Williams. "Just the whole quality of my life was compromised. You are so tired it hurts. You have to accept that you're never going to be 100%."
Williams, five time Wimbledon champion, has started battle in this year's tournament which started Monday. Tomas Berdych, ranked no.6 ATP player, also appears in the sixth ESPN Body Issue which will be announced Wednesday on ESPN.com.
Venus got through her her first-round Wimbledon match against Maria Teresa Torro-Flor in three sets.
The ESPN Body issue will not be out until July 11th. The complete list of this year's athletes will be announced Wednesday on ESPN.com
Watch video of Venus Williams photo shoot for ESPN at http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:11113063
Check out the slideshow for a preview of Venus Williams pictures in the ESPN Body Issue.