Serena Williams Withdraws from Wimbledon Match Due to Virus

Serena Williams

Pavel Golovkin/AP

updated 07/01/2014 AT 1:00 PM ET

originally published 07/01/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET

Serena Williams withdrew from her Wimbledon doubles match Tuesday after being too sick to continue.

The tennis star, 32, was playing her third game with sister Venus Williams, 34, when spectators noticed she seemed off, serving four double faults. The siblings retired from the match early, and referees revealed Serena is suffering from a virus, according to a Tweet from the official Wimbledon account.

“I am heartbroken I’m not able to continue in the tournament. I thought I could rally this morning, because I really wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me,” Serena said in a statement to PEOPLE. ” We were all looking forward to a great match. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of the fans for their cheering and understanding. I look forward to returning to Wimbledon next year.”

The Washington Post reports that Serena was seen tearfully receiving medical attention even before the match began about 13 minutes later than scheduled.

Serena, who was ranked No. 1 in women’s singles but lost in the tournament Saturday, has won five Wimbledon doubles titles with her sister.

• With reporting by JEN GARCIA


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