An incredibly bizarre scene unfolded at Wimbledon on Tuesday morning when Serena Williams and Venus Williams were forced to withdraw from their doubles match after Serena became dizzy and disoriented. It’s unclear what exactly was wrong with Serena, but her behavior was extremely alarming.
Prior to the match, Williams could barely focus enough to volley a ball over the net. She had trouble doing simple things like tossing a ball up to serve it.
As Business Insider’s Cork Gaines noted, ESPN commentator Chris Evert described Williams as looking “wobbly” when she first came on the court. She also noticed that Williams was not wearing eye makeup like she normally does and went as far as to wonder if Serena was on some sort of drug. Fellow commentator Pam Shriver made similar comments.
“This is not an illness,” Shriver said. “It’s almost like she has taken something that makes her feel dizzy, disoriented, and she cannot reach up and strike the ball.”
The match started after a 13-minute delay, but the chair umpire eventually came out to speak to the Williams sisters when Serena could hardly serve.
He allowed the match to continue before the sisters decided to withdraw at the end of the third game.
We’re not sure exactly why Evert and Shriver seemed so convinced that she was not suffering from an illness, but it’s obvious something was affecting her motor skills. Shriver said it looked like Serena was “having a breakdown, both emotionally and physically.”
Wimbledon later announced that Williams is suffering from a viral illness. We’ll bring you more updates as they come.
Video via The Big LeadGoogle+