Former world number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Open because of a viral illness.
Williams was in the middle of her third round match against Garbine Muguruza when she opted out of the encounter.
Muguruza was leading by a set and a game in the second set before the Williams pull-out.
The American had earlier made a strong start in the encounter, winning the first three games without reply but Muguruza fought back, taking advantage of Serena’s illness. She reeled off six games in a row to win the set and added another one in the second before her opponent called it quits.
The world number 10, who was playing in her first tournament since her Australian Open exit, called the trainer between the two sets to get her blood pressure checked and then again just before he threw in the towel.
Later, in the press conference she admitted she hadn’t been feeling very good for some time.
“Before the match, I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second; extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue.”
She also said it might have appeared she began well in the match but she had been feeling unwell even before the game. Williams added she would look to get fit before the Miami Open now that begins in just over a week from now.
Muguruza will now take on Kiki Bertens in the fourth round after the Dutchwoman sent Johanna Konta packing in her third round match.
Among others to make it to the fourth round included Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep, both of whom won in straight sets but were stretched by their respective opponents.