Illness forces Williams to retire at Indian Wells

Illness forces Williams to retire at Indian Wells

Illness forces Williams to retire at Indian Wells

Williams trailed fellow seed Muguruza 6-3 1-0 when the 23-time grand slam champion retired.

"Yeah, at the end of the first set, I felt that maybe she wasn't feeling well", Muguruza said, via USA Today.

The 10th-seeded American, continuing to work her way back up the rankings in the wake of time off to have a baby, had made a strong start, winning the first three games.

"By the score it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically".

Williams has not won a tournament since defeating her sister Venus in the final of the 2017 Australian Open. Muguruza took advantage, converting a break point with a forehand victor to lead 4-3, finding herself up a break in the match for the first time.

Tournament officials said the former world number one was suffering from a viral illness.

She is now ranked 10th in the world. "I don't know. It's really a weird feeling, because I don't feel like I won the match point and (get the) well done, you know, good match (handshake)".

"I had to adapt a little bit my position in the court, the way I was hitting, and it took me a few games to kind of do it", Muguruza said. The 19-year-old Czech dropped the first set to the Latvian but regrouped herself to claim a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win in two hours and two minutes. That year she reached the semifinals before withdrawing against Simona Halep.

Halep, the No. 2 seed, needed almost two hours to beat qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the third round. The opening set tie-break ended 12-10 with both players keen to put themselves ahead in the match.

The Romanian was one of six seeds to progress, with Svitolina joining her after a 7-5 6-4 win over Daria Gavrilova.

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