Serena Williams appeared on court for a doubles match with sister Venus on Tuesday, and by now everyone knows how that went. Serena started with a wobbly serve that made commentator Virginia Wade say, "Well, that was all wrong." The sisters soon fell behind 0-3 after Serena's four straight double-faults, and retired from the match from there. Chair umpire Kader Nouni even made the perhaps unprecedented move to step down from his perch after three points and walk up to talk to the Williamses, likely to ensure Serena was physically well.
The reactions to the WTA No. 1's poor showing in that second-round doubles affair, in which basically everything about Serena looked amiss from the start of the warmup were almost as swift as the medical attention she received on court before and after the conclusion of the brief match play.
"I find it distressing. I think virus, whatever they're saying it was, I don't think that was it. ... I've never seen anything like it and hopefully never will again. Everybody was put in such a difficult position, including the WTA. It's not right. It defies logic on so many fronts. The coach [Patrick Mouratoglou] said he hadn't seen her for two days. He didn't know anything. How can you be a coach and not know anything? That's wrong. And Venus was just kind of there. You don't know what's going on, but virus was not it, that much is clear."
On the other hand, speaking on his Fox Sports Live radio show, Andy Roddick says that his friend and compatriot, Serena, replied to his text message as such:
"'Andy, I'm just not well.' ... That took me back. I was in friend mode in two seconds. It was a terrible thing to watch. I'm glad she's at least resting now. I don't know when she's going to get out of London. I assume she can't travel anytime in the next couple days."
Here, Roddick's full conversation with co-host Bill Reiter about Serena, as well as Rafael Nadal's stunning upset at the hands of fearless upstart Nick Kyrgios:
In the wake of that unfortunate scene, Serena posted a photo to Instagram that showed her lying on a couch in a blanket beside a laptop, catalyzing many fans to pile on encouragement and concern. Her own statement spoke to a "bug" affecting her:
Serena statement: “I'm heartbroken ... I thought I could rally this morning, I wanted to compete, but this bug just got the best of me."— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 1, 2014
What do you think of Serena's showing? Should she have withdrawn from competition beforehand, or was she right to try to play, and perhaps so that potential critics could see all was not right with her?
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