Serena Williams was forced to bow out of her third-round match against Garbine Muguruza after suffering from a medical issue at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, handing the win to her opponent.
Williams won the first three games of the afternoon match but began losing strength after Mugurza roared back to tie the set and eventually win 6-3.
During the changeover between sets, Williams’ blood pressure was taken by a trainer, but she still went back onto the court and played another game, which was won by Muguruza. Williams again consulted with a trainer and shortly after retired from the match, though she was able to walk off the court without assistance.
Specifics on what ailed Williams were not immediately given.
Spaniard Muguruza, who is 20th on the Women’s Tennis Association singles rankings and was the women’s singles champion at Wimbledon in 2017, will play the winner of No. 7 seed match between Kiki Bertens and Johanna Konta.
In other action, Roger Federer furthered his quest to become the first player to win six titles at Indian Wells by making quick work of 85th-ranked German Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5.
Federer, who last lifted the trophy at Indian Wells two years ago, will face the winner of the Stan Wawrinka and Marton Fucsovics match, scheduled to take place Sunday evening in Stadium Three.
Second-ranked Rafael Nadal is also scheduled to play his first match of the tournament Sunday evening, having received an opening-round bye. Nadal will be pitted against 22-year-old American Jared Donaldson.
The two previously faced each other at the 2017 Shanghai Masters, where Nadal defeated Donaldson in straight sets.
In another match-up to watch Sunday, 18-year-old Canadian rising star Bianca Andreescu goes head-to-head against 109th-ranked Stefanie Voegele from Switzerland, who stunned spectators by handily beating 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, 6-3, 6-0, on Friday.
Sunday’s singles losers will each receive $48,775, while the winners will earn at least $91,205. The men’s and women’s singles champions will each receive slightly more than $1.354 million.
The tournament concludes next Sunday.
— City News Service
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