Serena Williams "heartbroken" at Wimbledon withdrawal

Serena Williams admits that she is "heartbroken" after being forced to withdraw from the Wimbledon doubles tournament through illness.

Serena Williams has admitted that she was "heartbroken" to have been forced to withdraw from the doubles tournament at Wimbledon through illness.

Williams was just three games into her doubles tie alongside sister Venus on No.1 Court today when she was persuaded to retire having served four consecutive double faults.

The WTA later confirmed that Serena was suffering from a "viral illness", and the 32-year-old was devastated to have seen her SW19 campaign cut short.

"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," Williams said in a statement.

"From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of the fans for their cheers and understanding. I look forward to returning to Wimbledon next year."

Williams had already been eliminated from the singles competition courtesy of a shock defeat to Alize Cornet on Saturday.

Serena Williams of the United States hits a forehand return during her Ladies' Singles third round match against Alize Cornet on June 28, 2014
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