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Serena Williams pulls out of Wimbledon with 'bug'

Serena Staggers Out Of Doubles With Illness


BY HOWARD FENDRICH
AP TENNIS WRITER

LONDON (AP) -- It was clear something was wrong with Serena Williams from the moment she began trying to warm up for her Wimbledon doubles match Tuesday.

She weakly pushed volleys into the net from a couple of feet away. She whiffed on practice strokes. She even had trouble with the simple task of collecting tennis balls from the ball kids.

After Williams was examined for about 10 minutes on the sideline by medical staff, including a check of her blood pressure, the match began. After three games, though, an out-of-sorts Williams and her partner, older sister Venus, stopped. The tournament referee's office and WTA later said Serena, who lost in singles Saturday, had a viral illness.

"I am heartbroken I'm not able to continue in the tournament," Serena said in a statement. "I thought I could rally this morning because I really wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me."

About 1 1/2 hours after leaving the court, Serena walked out of the All England Club, still wearing her white match outfit, and with a tournament towel draped around her waist. She got into a car and was driven away.

"Unfortunately, Serena has been feeling unwell for the past few days and she just couldn't play to her potential today," Venus said. "I'm really proud of her for trying because we just love playing doubles together."

They have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles as a pair, including five at Wimbledon. In singles, the 32-year-old Serena is ranked No. 1 and owns 17 major championships, the most among active women; five came at the All England Club.

"We were all looking forward to a great match. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of the fans for their cheers and understanding," said Serena, who was beaten in three sets by 25th-seeded Alize Cornet in the third round of singles. "I look forward to returning to Wimbledon next year."

While being looked at by a doctor before the start of the second-round doubles match against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele, Serena hunched over and covered her face with her hands.

During the delay, one of the Williams' other sisters, along with Serena's agent and her hitting partner, left their seats in the stands.

Eventually, play began. With Serena serving in the third game, she was broken at love with four double-faults. One of the best servers in the women's game, she hit balls that bounced before reaching the net.

At love-40 in that game, chair umpire Kader Nouni took the unusual step of climbing down from his perch and walking over to speak to Serena. She then served another double-fault to fall behind 3-0.

Serena and Venus walked to the sideline holding hands, and Nouni announced to the crowd at No. 1 Court: "Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, Miss Williams has to retire."

Serena wiped away tears as she walked toward the court's exit.

Her career has been marked by health problems.

She missed eight months after having surgery on her left knee in 2003, the year she had completed a self-styled "Serena Slam" by winning four consecutive major titles. Days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, Williams cut both feet on broken glass while leaving a restaurant, leading to two operations on her right foot. Then she got clots in her lungs and needed to inject herself with a blood thinner. Those shots led to a pool of blood gathering under her stomach's skin, requiring another hospital procedure. In all, she was off the tour for about 10 months, returning in 2011.

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moochelleboochelle July 01 2014 at 11:04 PM

IF HUSSEIN OBAMA HAD A SON HE WOULD LOOK LIKE SERENA

Flag Reply +26 rate up
9 replies
moooooooooochelle July 01 2014 at 10:56 PM

TIME FOR A STEEEERROID TEST

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3 replies
JIM July 01 2014 at 8:01 PM

This woman has no class. She couldn't make it, and now she comes up with a story that she was not feeling well and has a bug. She has a bug allright, it is up her tight lying a**. She could not hack it, and now is trying to come up with a lie to try to make it look like it was not her fault. What a phony and a scammer, and a very poor sports-woman. Typical of those people.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
13 replies
kkerr1313 July 01 2014 at 9:12 PM

Obvious acting... would any player ever show up to play at all if they were too sick to catch a ball much less run, stretch, etc..? Answer : No

Flag Reply +21 rate up
1 reply
ramesusan kkerr1313 July 02 2014 at 10:43 AM

Exactly the point Kate - she is an athlete in incredible physical shape, used to pushing her body's limits, even when ill. Now I have had viral illness before, as have most people at one time or another - but as nonathletic and as out of shape as I may be in comparison to Serena, I have never been THAT disoriented and weak to the point of not being able to hold onto or even pick up a light tennis ball - not even on my WORST day. So if indeed this was a viral illness so bad and so powerful that it brought Serena to that level of physical and mental shutdown and impairment, it should have caused immediate and extreme concern of all those responsible for the safety and welfare of these athletes, and seeing that level of impairment by a virus should have caused medical personnel to physically take this woman as fast as possible to the nearest hospital. I certainly hope her virus isn't contagious - can you just imagine what it would do to the likes of me and you? We'd be dead within minutes

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Angbii@aol.com ramesusan July 02 2014 at 11:42 AM

Talk to Henin, who stopped play DURING a slam final because she was "sick". As to viral illnesses, I'm currently suffering from one that won't t=let me stray from a particular room in my home for more than 30 minutes. Sorry to disappoint you, but viral illnesses CAN be brutal!

Flag 0 rate up
cenvalref July 01 2014 at 8:48 PM

Steriods finally caught up with her

Flag Reply +21 rate up
michaelmetsfan July 01 2014 at 8:36 PM

Looks like she was loaded lol

Flag Reply +20 rate up
2 replies
Kate michaelmetsfan July 01 2014 at 10:30 PM

When was the last time you tried to play a doubles match at Wimbledon when you had the flu or any other viral illness? She's in incredible physical shape-- for her to be barely able to even hit the ball, you're darn straight she was very, very ill. And you think you're being clever? You're being disgusting.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jmg62 michaelmetsfan July 01 2014 at 11:44 PM

Yeah, ya know michaelmetsfan, I wondered about this too. In her press conference at the beginning of the tournament - yes, she rolled her eyes many times - but instead of ******* it up as so many have had to do before her - she was almost brazen in her off putting attitude as if she'd been woken up from a nap. Acting so put upon and treating her press obligations with such distaste - what the hell was wrong with her? She just spent time with Caroline W. walking the beach, crashing weddings and enjoying life in Florida. One would think SHE was the one left at the altar. There's always been a lot of pressure on her to win - but how's this any different than the other times she's gotten disgusted and get's rude? 17 Slams aren't bad. Only 4 other women before her have done it. Maybe it is time to go do something else?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
Angbii@aol.com jmg62 July 02 2014 at 11:38 AM

Just for the record, a virus can hit quickly and be quite devastating. If you'd told me 2 days ago that an intestinal virus was that bad, I'd have pooh -pooh you. Two days, later, I stand corrected, contrite, and am actually finding it hard to stand at all!

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Angbii@aol.com jmg62 July 02 2014 at 11:39 AM

As for my prior comment, no pun intended in the pooh-pooh comment! But it sure is apropos!

Flag +1 rate up
Kay July 01 2014 at 10:02 PM

Must have been something she 'smoked!' Or she got the bad drugs this time. Can't stand the woman, she thinks her 'poop' don't stink!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
1 reply
scififan7 Kay July 02 2014 at 11:14 AM

Or bad booze!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Brian Hope July 01 2014 at 8:40 PM

I'm surprised that one of the previous commentators didn't find a way to blame it on Obama.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
5 replies
leslie July 02 2014 at 8:01 AM

She should be tested for inflamed testicle.syndrome! ..

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
guruazul leslie July 02 2014 at 1:18 PM

love your comment!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
MaryJMartin leslie July 02 2014 at 1:54 PM

You sure as hell need to be tested. You need a brain test. Where's your balls. You must keep them cool..You also need to be tested for running off of the mouth syndrome..

Flag Reply 0 rate up
clubberj July 02 2014 at 9:50 AM

She has always been a poor sport. It's hard not to doubt this "illness".

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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