Serena Williams got off to a hot start jumping out to a 3-1 lead on Garbine Muguruza in the third round Sunday at Indian Wells. But the former No. 1 wouldn’t win another game dropping seven straight before retiring down 6-3, 1-0 to the Spaniard because of a viral illness.
“Before the match, I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second; extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue,” Serena said in a statement. “By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically. I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami.”
It was just the third mid-match retirement of Serena’s long career, and it left Muguruza field weird.
“It’s really a weird feeling, because I don’t feel like I won the match point and, ‘Well done, you know, good match,'” said Muguruza. “It was just like, ‘Man, we’ll play next time.’
“I think I played well one set. I’m going to take the positive side of that. Now I have more chances to face top opponents. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Simona Halep fought off qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6(3), 7-5. Elina Svitolina advanced over Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-4.
Young Czech lefty pulled a mild upset eliminating Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Bianca Andreescu and Kiki Bertens were also among the winners.
Today, the third round concludes with defending champion Naomi Osaka dueling Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins and Venus Williams returns to take on Christina McHale.
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