Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

'Dazed, disorientated' Serena Williams drops out at Wimbledon

By Jill Martin and Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 6:15 AM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Serena Williams looked disoriented, couldn't even serve
  • She says 'this bug' made it difficult to play
  • She's been ill for days, sister Venus Williams says
  • The Williams sisters have won five doubles titles at Wimbledon

(CNN) -- In what was a bizarre, disturbing scene at Wimbledon, Serena Williams withdrew from her doubles match with sister Venus Williams on Tuesday due to a viral illness.

"I thought I could rally this morning, because I really wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me," Serena Williams said in a written statement.

The Women's Tennis Association said in a release that Serena Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion at doubles, had a viral illness.

During warmups Tuesday, Williams stumbled around the court and looked disoriented. She had trouble catching balls thrown to her.

Following the warmup, a tournament doctor examined her on the bench, at one point taking her blood pressure. During the 11-minute break, Williams put her head in her hands and appeared to cry.

She decided to try to play, but it was tough to watch. At one point, Williams missed on a shot.

When it was her turn to serve, it was an entire game of uncharacteristically wild double faults.

At that point, the Williams sisters retired from the match, down 3-0.

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

Tennis analyst Pam Shriver tweeted that no one she talked to could remember someone so clearly out of it on the court.

Germany's Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland advanced to the third round with the default.

Both Williams sisters have been eliminated from singles' competition.

Read: Rafael Nadal succumbs to Australian teenager Krygios

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT