A viral illness at Indian Wells is wiping out big-name tennis players like Serena Williams and Alexander Zverev

  • Serena Williams, Alexander Zverev, and Anastasija Sevastova have all been knocked out of the 2019 Indian Wells tennis tournament in California.
  • However, it seems they were not defeated by their opponents but rather a virus that is sweeping through the competition.
  • Symptoms of the virus include "extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue."
  • Williams and Sevastova had it so bad they were forced to retire in the middle of their separate matches, while Zverev was able to finish his but was resoundingly beaten.

A viral illness is spreading through the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament in California and has already wiped out three big-name victims.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, the men's number three seed Alexander Zverev, and the women's number 11 seed Anastasija Sevastova have all reportedly suffered the effects of the sickness which includes "extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue," Williams said according to the BBC.

The American was the first to fall on Sunday when she retired in the middle of her third round match when losing 6-3, 1-0 to Garbine Muguruza.

"Before the match I did not feel great and then it just got worse with every second — extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue," Williams said. "I was not feeling at all well physically."

She added that she will now focus on the upcoming Miami Open in Florida.

Acknowledging that her opponent may have been feeling unwell, Muguruza said: "I wish I'm going to see her soon and [she's] feeling better."

But Williams isn't only athlete to suffer from the mysterious illness.

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Serena Williams retires from match due to illness
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States plays a forehand against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during their women's singles third round match on day seven of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 10, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States walks back to her chair to receive medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States serves against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States waits for medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States receives medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States receives medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States receives medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Serena Williams of the United States waits for medical attention for a viral infection during her match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters on March 10, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
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The Latvian tennis player Sevastova, who reached the 2018 US Open semi-final, was forced to retire in the first set of her match against Anett Kontaveit on Monday, one day after Williams complained of being sick. Sevastova was 5-0 down at the time of the withdrawal.

The men's bracket has also been affected as, though Zverev managed to finish his Round of 32 match against Jan-Lennard Struff, he was comprehensively beaten 6-3, 6-1 and cited sickness as a potential cause for the loss.

"I have been sick for a week," he said in a separate BBC article. "That hasn't changed unfortunately. I think I just got unlucky, got a virus somewhere and that's how it is. Now it's about getting healthy and about recovering and preparing myself for Miami, because Miami is a tournament I do well in."

The Round of 16 matches in the men's and women's singles resume at Indian Wells on Wednesday.

Business Insider has reached out to the tournament organizers for further comment.

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