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."