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Venus is just the epitome of class, the way she’s gone about it,” he said. “I don’t think she’s ever even had a sniff of controversy around her. She’s just done it the right way.”

On Monday, Venus Williams was asked about the illness that caused her to skip tournaments this summer. She said that night that her ailment had been diagnosed, but wouldn’t say what it was.

“It was just energy-sucking, and I just couldn’t play pro tennis,” she said Monday. “It was disappointing, because I had huge plans for this summer, of course, to improve my ranking. To miss out on all those points was definitely devastating. Just to miss so much time off tour was just disheartening. But I’m just really excited to be back.”

Lisicki said she saw Venus Williams on the practice courts and in the locker room and expected to play their match — until the tournament referee passed along the news of the withdrawal.

“She’s a tough girl, and I think she’ll come back. You know, it would be unfortunate if she couldn’t,” Lisicki said. “Serena and Venus both are amazing players, and it’s nice to have them in the women’s sport. I hope she comes back.”

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AP National Writer Eddie Pells and AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen in New York and AP Science Writer Alicia Chang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.