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Friday 22 August 2014

Serena Williams breaks down on court following health scare

Former champion Serena Williams retires after three games having served a game of double faults in second-round match against Kristina Barrois and Stephanie Voegele

Published 01/07/2014 | 18:48

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Serena Williams receives treatment alongside sister Venus Williams before their doubles match on day nine of Wimbledon
Serena Williams receives treatment alongside sister Venus Williams before their doubles match on day nine of Wimbledon
Serena Williams appears unwell before retiring from her women's doubles tennis match with Venus Williams against Kristina Barrois of Germany and Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland
Serena Williams appears unwell before retiring from her women's doubles tennis match with Venus Williams against Kristina Barrois of Germany and Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland
Serena Williams receives treatment alongside sister Venus Williams before their doubles match on day nine of Wimbledon
Serena Williams receives treatment alongside sister Venus Williams before their doubles match on day nine of Wimbledon

Serena Williams wept on court and was forced to pull out of the Wimbledon women's doubles in an alarming health scare that officials have put down to a viral illness.

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In scenes that were uncomfortable to watch on Court One, Serena was plainly not herself and her vision looked to be the root of the trouble. She broke down in tears as she consulted with the doctor and physio before the tournament referee and supervisor were called to court.

The five-time former Wimbledon singles champion had served four consecutive double faults as the sisters surrendered the third game of their match against Germany's Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele, of Switzerland.

In her service game, Serena was struggling to bounce the ball and keep it under any semblance of control, and the first two double faults at the beginning of her first service game highlighted the difficulties she was experiencing.

She was unable to clear the net at that point. The crowd tried to encourage her, but a third double followed and, although the 32-year-old had managed to get the ball into the opposite half of the court, her direction was all off.

Umpire Kader Nouni came down to the court to speak with the sisters, who carried on, but Serena's fourth double fault in a row meant it was becoming a grim spectacle.

There was little option for the sisters but to abandon the contest to allow Serena to seek assistance for the problem. as their tournament ended on a worrying note.

The American sisters were knocked out of the singles in the third round last week.

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