Serena Williams retires from Indiana Wells match

INDIAN WELLS CALIFORNIA- MARCH 10 Serena Williams of the United States walks off court after retiring from her match in at the start of the second set against Garbine Muguruza

Williams left the court to warm applause, yet he ongoing fitness issues must be concerning the tennis legend who has struggled to hit top form since returning to the court following the birth of her first child previous year.

10 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells due to a viral illness, retiring after trailing 6-3, 1-0 to No. 20-ranked Garbine Muguruza in third-round play.

She was checked by her trainer a few times during the course of the competition, but ultimately during the first game of the second set she decided against continuing.

With the former world number one's groundstrokes failing her, Kozlova reeled off 11 of the next 12 points, breaking back for 5-5 with a forehand victor.

Muguruza was leading 6-3, 1-0 when Williams called it a day in the battle of former world number ones because of a viral illness.

"By the score it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically".

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Williams has not won a tournament since defeating her sister Venus in the final of the 2017 Australian Open.

"I never played her, so it's also you're out there learning", Williams said. Barthel has a chance to win four matches in a single tournament for the first time since a challenger tournament in Chicago back in September.

Halep's two holds - sandwiched around another break of Kozlova's serve - put the Romanian up 5-2 but she was broken serving for the match and needed one last break of Kozlova's serve in the final game to clinch it with a backhand up the line.

After a first-round bye in Indian Wells, she beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 on Friday night.

She quickly called time on proceedings, handing Muguruza a place in the last 16 - where she will meet Kiki Bertens or Johanna Konta.

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