Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2019 Miami Open due to a left knee injury. She was to play her third round match against Wang Qiang on Sunday.
As a result, Qiang has now got a walkover and an entry into the next stage of the competition, where she will face the winner of Wang Yafan and Danielle Collins.
Williams had scraped through to a win over Rebecca Peterson in the second round, needing three sets to make it through to the next match.
Interestingly, she had withdrawn from the Indian Wells Open two weeks ago at the same stage of the competition. There she had at least taken to court, lost the first set to Garbine Muguruza before calling it quits. Here, in Miami, the decision has been taken a lot earlier.
Serena looked to have begun the season rather well, with three wins at the Hopman Cup and not a single loss. This was followed by an entry to the quarter-final of the Australian Open where she was 5-1 ahead in the final set but lost the match.
Since then her return to tennis has now been marred by two injuries, both of which have resulted in withdrawals.
In some of the other matches played on Saturday at the WTA Miami Open, third seeded Petra Kvitova needed three sets to overcome Donna Vekic, while 19th seeded Caroline Garcia also advanced to the fourth round with a win over Julia Goerges.
The battle of two Aussies was won easily by Ash Barty who crushed Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-3.