Serena Williams' first tournament since the Australian Open came to an abrupt end yesterday morning (Singapore time), as the ailing 23-time Grand Slam champion retired from her third-round match against Garbine Muguruza at Indian Wells. The American called for the trainer during the changeover between sets and returned to court to face Muguruza, but her return did not last long as she withdrew immediately after losing the opening game of the second set to love.
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.
Serena Williams dropped out of the BNP Paribas Open early with a viral illness on Sunday.
Muguruza will next play Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands after the seventh seed saw off Britain's Johanna Konta 7-6, 6-4.
Then Williams faced, in her first seed, multiple Major champion and former No1 Garbine Muguruza, ranked here at 20 after a dip in her results in the past year or so.
"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.
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"We've played many times and it's always super-tough, super-exciting", Muguruza said. Bertens will play the 20th seed Muguruza in the pre-quarter-finals.
World number twoSimona Halepsurvived a strong challenge from qualifier Kateryna Kozlova to reach the fourth round.
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.
"I can't breath", stated Williams in her conversations with on-court medics, with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou encouraging her to quit the match before she finally conceded. "I think they are the best, even though I believe I can win every time".
The Miami Premier Mandatory follows hot on the heels of Indian Wells, and has given Williams some of the best results in a career packed by great results, no fewer than eight titles, a remarkable 75-9 history.