Monday, March 11, 2019

Serena retires with viral illness vs. Muguruza in BNP

Serena Williams, playing in San Jose last July, has not advanced past the
third round in Indian Wells since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the 2016 final.
Photo by Mal Taam
   For the third time in five years, an injury or illness has kept Serena Williams from playing in Indian Wells.
   In a matchup of former world No. 1s on Sunday, 20th-seeded Garbine Muguruza led 6-3, 1-0 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open when the 10th-seeded Williams retired because of a viral illness.
   Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident, played brilliantly in a 7-5, 6-3 victory over another former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, on Friday night and bolted to a 3-0 lead against Muguruza. From then on, however, Williams looked lethargic.
   "Before the match, I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second -- extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue," Williams, a two-time Indian Wells champion (1999 and 2001), told reporters. "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."
   After boycotting the Indian Wells tournament for 14 years, Williams withdrew from her 2015 semifinal against Simona Halep with a right knee injury. Halep went on to win the title.
   Williams, 37, has not advanced past the third round at Indian Wells since losing in the 2016 final to Azarenka. Williams pulled out of the 2017 tournament with a left knee injury and announced the following month that she was 20 weeks pregnant.
   Muguruza defeated a top-10 player for the first time in more than a year and evened her record against Williams at 3-3 in their first non-Grand Slam match. Their last two meetings had come in finals, with Muguruza winning her first major title in the 2016 French Open and Williams claiming the sixth of her seven Wimbledon crowns in 2015.
   In men's action on Sunday, 14th-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia eliminated Mackenzie McDonald, who was born and raised in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 7-5, 6-0 in the second round.
   However, wild cards McDonald and Reilly Opelka defeated French alternates Adrian Mannarino and Gael Monfils 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the first round. Opelka, a 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) American, is 13 inches (33 centimeters) taller than McDonald.
   In the second round of doubles:
   --Seventh-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand topped Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (4).
   --Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus edged Raquel Atawo (Cal, 2001-04) of Sacramento and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 5-7, 6-3 [11-9].

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