October 02, 2014
Venus Williams of the United States, returns a shot against Heather Watson of Britain during their first round match of China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian

BEIJING (AP) Venus Williams withdrew from the China Open with a viral illness on Thursday shortly before her third-round match against Petra Kvitova.

The match would have been a reprise of their third-round encounter at Wimbledon, which Kvitova won in three sets after being just two points from defeat in the second set. Kvitova then went on to win her second title at the All England Club.

China Open organizers said Williams was suffering from a viral illness. Venus' sister, Serena, also withdrew from a tournament last week in the central Chinese city of Wuhan citing a virus.

Defending champion Serena Williams plays Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic for a spot in the China Open quarterfinals later Thursday.

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