By Ros Satar, at Indian Wells

  • Garbiñe Muguruza [20] def. Serena Williams [10] 6-3 1-0 RET
  • Williams struggles to breathe and retires after fast start
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA USA – Serena Williams was forced to retire in her third-round match against Garbiñe Muguruza, with a viral illness.


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Garbiñe Muguruza [20] def. Serena Williams [10] 6-3 1-0 RET

Garbine Muguruza in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, WTA Indian Wells 2019

Garbine Muguruza in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, WTA Indian Wells 2019 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

It looked as though Serena Williams was about to rule the roost on the first Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open as she started her third-round match against Garbiñe Muguruza, getting off to a swift start with a 3-0 lead.

There was no indication of what might come as Williams picked her moments to smack winners, consolidating on early Muguruza errors. However, the two-time Slam champion found a way to make her game work for her, first getting on the board for 1-3 and then starting to take more control as the errors started to mount up for Williams. Williams started to look a little flat as Muguruza took the initiative reeling off six games in a row to take the first set.

The trainer was called for Williams, and after a lengthy delay arrived and it looked as though they were ready to take her blood pressure, but Williams took to the court. However, looking distinctly unwell, the match was over after just the first game of the second set as Williams retired.

After the match, Williams said in a statement: “Before the match, I did not feel great and then it just got worse with every second; extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue.

By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically. I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami.”

Muguruza acknowledged it had been a slow start for her, telling reporters: “I guess at the end of the first set or when the first set was over, I felt that she was calling the trainer. She wasn’t feeling very well, I guess.

“I think she started playing well, right away with her serve, with her shots, being very dominating. I had to adapt a little bit my position in the court, the way I was hitting, and it took me, yeah, a few games to kind of do it. Once I did it, I felt much more comfortable to be able to release my tennis.

Muguruza has been playing some of her best tennis this year, but could not really take heart from her first top 10 win since February 2017.

“It’s really a weird feeling, because I don’t feel like I won the match point and well done, you know, good match. It was just like, ‘Man, we’ll play next time’.

“I think I played well one set. I’m going to take the positive side of that. Now I have more chances to face top and top opponents. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Muguruza will face Kiki Bertens in the fourth round.


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