Serena Williams leaves BNP Paribas Open early with viral illness

Serena Williams leaves BNP Paribas Open early with viral illness

Serena Williams leaves BNP Paribas Open early with viral illness

After the American held at love with a backhand victor to take a 3-0 lead, it seemed evident that the 23-time Grand Slam champion was on her way to a one-set lead.

She retired after losing the first game.

The Chinese player needed three sets - two of which were decided in the tie-breaks - to score her win, three minutes short of the three-hour mark.

Williams, now ranked No. 10 in the world after missing several months for the birth of her daughter, won the first three games of the match but showed fatigue early on.

She is now ranked 10th in the world and was playing in her first tournament since the Australian Open in January.

Muguruza was sorry to see it end the way it did.


"It's really a weird feeling because I don't feel like I won the match point and well done, good match", Muguruza said.

The Spaniard then got through one more tough service game to hold for 5-3 and put the pressure squarely on Williams.

She is now ranked 10th in the world. A two-time Grand Slam singles victor, the 25-year-old Spaniard now has a 3-3 record against Williams including a win in the 2016 French Open final and a loss in the 2015 Wimbledon final, but she said this victory didn't come with the usual sense of triumph.

"If I maybe would have served a little bit better, I think things would have gone faster", Federer said.

Muguruza will now face either Kiki Bertens or Johanna Konta in the round of 16.

Sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina also advanced, holding of Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-4. Svitolina awaits the victor between Jennifer Brady and Ashleigh Barty (who are now tussling on-court), and regardless of who wins that match, the Ukrainian will have a tough time tackling her then opponent.

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