Serena Williams retires through injury against Muguruza

Serena Williams retires through injury against Muguruza

The American took to the court for the second set, but retired after world number 20 Muguruza held in the opening game.

Still seeking her first tournament title since returning in 2018 from a long layoff that included a hard childbirth, the 37-year-old Williams showed excellent form at the start of Sunday's match.

Williams left the court to warm applause, yet he ongoing fitness issues must be concerning the tennis legend who has struggled to hit top form since returning to the court following the birth of her first child past year. "I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami".

Williams withdrew in the second set against Muguruza
Williams withdrew in the second set against Muguruza

The Canadian had no troubles in her match against Stefanie Voegele, beating the Swiss player 6-1, 6-2 inside of an hour, in 56 minutes.

"I felt that maybe she wasn't feeling well", she said. "It's really a weird feeling, because I don't feel like I won the match point and (got the) "well done, . good match". "It was just like, 'Man, we'll play next time'".

"I had to adapt a little bit my position in the court, the way I was hitting, and it took me a few games to kind of do it", Muguruza said.

Williams made a solid start to Sunday's contest in California as she raced into a 3-0 lead, the 10th seed dominating from the baseline with a string of powerful forehands.

There were service breaks aplenty as Halep and Kozlova traded four on the way to the first-set tiebreaker and four more to open the second set. She proceeded to lose her next seven games, making the score 6-3 1-0 before her departure.

Muguruza will now face either Kiki Bertens or Johanna Konta in the round of 16.

"It was hard for me to close those sets, but I'm actually proud that I could do that", added the Romanian.

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