Illness forces Serena Williams to retire against Garbine Muguruza

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Serena Williams at the Indian Wells Open (Getty Images)

Serena Williams’ most recent campaign ended in retirement. The 23-time grand-slam champion cited a “viral illness” for ending her time at the Indian Wells Open.

Williams made a solid start to Sunday’s contest in California as she raced into a 3-0 lead, dominating from the baseline with a string of powerful forehands.

However, Williams — who entered the tournament as the 10th seed — was not moving freely and Muguruza battled back with a series of stunning groundstrokes of her own.

Muguruza reeled off six successive games to take the first set but Williams’ mobility was well short of her best, and her retirement seemed inevitable at the changeover.

Williams called her trainer and complained of a pain in her left leg but tried to battle on at the start of the second set.

Muguruza held to love with Williams not even trying to run for the game-winning point and on her return to the chair, Williams was noticeably breathing heavily.

She quickly called time on proceedings, handing Muguruza a place in the last 16 — where she will meet Kiki Bertens or Johanna Konta.

“Before the match I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second,” Williams said afterward (via WTA Insider). “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.”