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Serena forced to withdraw from doubles match

ESPN staff
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Serena Williams pulled out with a viral illness after failing to even serve over the net © Getty Images
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Serena Williams was forced to pull out of her Wimbledon doubles match with sister Venus after only three games after a bizarre series of events on Court 1.

Serena, who was knocked out of the singles at the weekend, was given a blood pressure test by medical staff before the doubles match against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele even began as she struggled to hit shots and serves. As the ball boys and girls bounced new balls to her, she struggled to even bend down and catch them.

Sitting in her sideline chair, Serena covered her face with her hands as medical staff assessed her.

The match began after a 13-minute delay and, with Serena serving in the third game, she was unable to hit serves that even made it as far as the net.

At love-40, chair umpire Kader Nouni took the unusual step of climbing down and walking over to ask Serena if she could continue. After nodding yes, Serena, who appeared glassy-eyed, then served another double-fault to trail 3-0.

Serena and Venus then walked to the sideline holding hands, and Nouni announced to the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, Miss Williams has to retire.'' It was later announced via the Wimbledon official Twitter account that Serena was suffering from a viral illness.

Concerned ground staff and supervisors watch on in the background as Serena warms up © Getty Images
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