(March 10, 2019) Serena Williams was forced to retire from her third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday afternoon, due to a viral illness, with her opponent 20th seed Garbine Muguruza leading 6-3, 1-0. Williams withdrew from Indian Wells back in 2015, her first time playing the event since 2001 and did not participate in 2017 due to her pregnancy.
Williams opened the match with a 3-0 lead. After the great start, Williams lost the next seven games, taking a break to see the trainer after the first set ended.
Williams released a statement via the tournament:
“By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically.”
“Before the match, I did not feel great and then it just got worse with every second; extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue,”
“I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami.”
“It’s really a weird feeling because I don’t feel like I won the match point and well done, good match,” Muguruza said to media.
The Spaniard will face Kiki Bertens for a place in the quarterfinals.
As the 10th seed, Williams received a bye to the second round, where she beat Viktoria Azarenka in a fierce battle 7-5, 6-3 on Friday night.
Earlier in the day, No. 2 seed Simona Halep needed almost two hours to beat qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3), 6-to reach the fourth round. The Romanian was two points away from losing the second set at 5-6.
Five-time champion Roger Federer defeated German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 7-5 in the second round.
“I think I played well in the first set and he didn’t, and then things go very quickly,” Federer said in his news conference.” The second set I think he saved some crucial break points, you know, with good serving. I think his serve really picked up. I think I struggled a little bit with my serving in that second set and that gave him chances.
“I think because he was serving better, I think he started to swing more freely, and, you know, then it was tough,” Federer said about his challenge in the second set from the No. 85 player.
In the first match of the evening session, Rafael Nadal demolished American Jared Donaldson 6-1, 6-1 in his second round match. The world No. 2 Nadal is seeking a fourth Indian Wells title.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori escaped a loss to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).
In the match of the day, three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka survived a three-hour, 23-minute battle with Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. He’ll play fellow Swiss Roger Federer in the third round.
More to follow….