Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Injury heartache for Williams at Miami Masters

Story highlights

  • Venus Williams withdraws injured from Miami Masters
  • Caroline Wozniacki suffers shock defeat by wild card
  • Andy Murray breezes into third round after Tomic win
  • Sam Querrey wins debut game as U.S. No.1

Venus Williams' hopes of landing a fourth Miami Masters title were left in tatters after the U.S. star was forced to pull out with a back injury.

The seven-time grand slam champion withdrew ahead of her third round clash with fellow American Sloane Stephens Saturday.

Williams, ranked 18th in the world, had hoped to shake off the problem following her win over Japan's Kimiko Date-Krum.

It is the latest setback for the 32-year-old, who in 2011 fought back from Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease which causes fatigue.

Read: Venus vows to rise again after illness

"Yesterday I was having some pain, and then just wanted to see how I felt in the warmup -- just not able to play today," Williams told reporters.

      Just Watched

      In Krakow with the Radwanska sisters

    In Krakow with the Radwanska sisters 01:14
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Chris Evert: Grooming future champions

    Chris Evert: Grooming future champions 04:22
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Ivan Lendl's lesson for greatness

    Ivan Lendl's lesson for greatness 00:53
    PLAY VIDEO

    "It's really disappointing. This is just the kind of tournament you want to play well at.

    "But I have faced disappointments in my life and my career. It's not the first, probably not the last, just have to get through it and stay positive."

    Williams now hopes to return to action in Charleston, South Carolina next month.

    "I've dealt with injuries before in my whole career," she said. "I know how to hopefully recover quickly from them.

    "I'm playing in Charleston, so that's really still my goal, to get ready to play there."

    Read: How do you solve a problem like Maria? Don't ask Wozniacki

    Her younger sister Serena went through to round four -- despite needing to resort to riding a bike to the event due to traffic problems.

    The top seed and five-time Miami champion battled to a 6-3 6-3 win over Japan's Ayumi Morita to set up a meeting with Slovakian 13th seed Dominika Cibulkova.

    Venus Williams wasn't the only big name to leave the tournament Saturday as Caroline Wozniacki crashed out after suffering a shock defeat by Spanish wild card Garbine Muguruza.

    The World No. 9 was stunned 6-2 6-4 just a week after losing out in the final at Indian Wells to Maria Sharapova.

    Muguruza, ranked 73rd in the world, will now take on Li Na in the fourth round.

    Chinese star Li saw off American Varvara Lepchenko 6-2, 6-4 as she continued her comeback from injury.

      Just Watched

      Tommy Haas: My daughter motivates me

    Tommy Haas: My daughter motivates me 02:26
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Rafael Nadal returns to the court

    Rafael Nadal returns to the court 06:19
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Keepy up challenge: Becker vs. Mendieta

    Keepy up challenge: Becker vs. Mendieta 00:57
    PLAY VIDEO

    Read: Tennis to land in Li Na's hometown

    The World No. 5 had been out of action for seven weeks after suffering an ankle injury during her Australian Open defeat by Victoria Azarenka.

    But while Li is still in with a chance of glory, Azarenka's hopes are over after she was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury of her own.

    "It was really obvious what the decision was couple days ago already," Azarenka told reporters. "I just wanted to give my 100 % possibility to play and today was my last test."

    Read: Redfoo's party rock can't lift tennis ace Azarenka's injury gloom

    Maria Sharapova will be hoping to progress to the fourth round Sunday when she takes on fellow Russian Russian Elena Vesnina.

    Sharapova, who won at Indian Wells last weekend, eased past Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-0 Friday following a power outage.

    In the men's section, last year's runner-up Andy Murray eased into the third round with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory over Australia's Bernard Tomic.

    Murray, who won the tournament back in 2009, will face Grigor Dimitrov next after the Bulgarian overcame Simone Bolelli.

    "No matter how you start your match you need to make your opponent work hard," Murray told Sky Sports after seeing off a disappointing Tomic.

    "I didn't hit it unbelievable today but I worked hard. Once I got the breakthrough he made mistakes. But it is unbelievably hot and windy.

      Just Watched

      How Novak Djokovic stays on top

    How Novak Djokovic stays on top 06:13
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Tennis stars take on the quick fire quiz

    Tennis stars take on the quick fire quiz 02:32
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Rising star inspired by Sampras

    Rising star inspired by Sampras 02:22
    PLAY VIDEO

    "It's tough to feel comfortable, maybe more than my opponent because I am used to the court and the wind and the humidity."

    Read: Andy Murray's five-star hotel venture

    Elsewhere, Sam Querrey survived an almighty scare to win his first match since becoming the U.S. No.1.

    Querrey overcame Lukasz Kubot 4-6 6-3 6-3 to secure his place in the next round.

    "I started out a little slow," he told the tournament's official website.

    "He broke me the first game, but then he served really well rest of the first set.

    "But after that, I felt pretty good second and third sets. I served big and hit my forehand well. I was pretty happy."

    There were also wins for France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Italy's Andreas Seppi, Belgium's David Goffin and eighth seed Richard Gasquet.

    Read: Tennis serves up new measures in the fight against doping

    Sunday's action is set to include World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who is looking to win a fourth Miami Masters title

    Djokovic, who destroyed Lukas Rosol 6-1 6-0 Friday, will take on India's Somdev Devvarman, currently ranked 254th in the world.

    But one man who won't be on court is fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro after he was sent crashing out in the second round by Tobias Kamke.

    Del Potro reached the final at Indian Wells last week, but was unable to see off 89th ranked Kamke.

    "I was excited to play here, but [it was] just a bad day and he [played] really well," the Argentine told the tournament's official website.

      Tennis

    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • "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.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.