Defending champion Garbine Muguruza out of Wimbledon

Published by Leigh Rogers

UNDER PRESSURE: Garbine Muguruza lost in the second round; Getty Images
Upsets continue to rock the ladies’ singles draw at Wimbledon, with No.3 seed and defending champion Garbine Muguruza eliminated in the second round.

Garbine Muguruza’s title defence at Wimbledon is over.

Belgian world No.47 Alison Van Uytvanck upset the Spaniard in the second round, posting a 5-7 6-2 6-1 victory.

“She played big,” Muguruza conceded after the one hour, 52 minute match.

“She took a lot of risks and it worked for her. I also think that my level was not where I wanted it to be.”

It was the 24-year-old Van Uytvanck’s first top 10 win – leaving Muguruza to make the earliest exit of a ladies’ singles defending champion at the All England Club since Steffi Graf lost in the opening round in 1994.

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“It’s a little bit sad because I wanted to, you know, really go out there. But I think she played great,” Muguruza said. “I wish I could have handled her shots a bit better. It was a little bit tough for me to have an opponent that is having a great day, and the match is slipping out of your hand a little bit. But grass is tough.”

Muguruza’s loss means only two top eight seeds have advanced to the third round – No.1 Simona Halep and No.7 Karolina Pliskova. This is a first for a ladies’ singles draw at Wimbledon in the Open era.

Halep moved into the third round with a 7-5 6-0 win over China’s Zheng Saisai.

No.11 seed Angelique Kerber survived a scare to advance, needing three sets to overcome American qualifier Claire Liu.

Kerber won 3-6 6-2 6-4 against 18-year-old Liu, who won the Wimbledon girls’ singles title last year.

“I didn’t know a lot about her,” Kerber admitted. “It’s always tough to play against someone you don’t know… It was quite a tricky match.”

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Jelena Ostapenko, Elise Mertens and Ash Barty were among the other seeded winners on day four, but Johanna Konta is out.

Dominika Cibulkova defeated the No.22-seeded Brit, a semifinalist last year, 6-3 6-4.

“It was a tough draw today and today I can only be happy with my performance,” Cibulkova said.

“Everything was just coming together for me. My serve was just really working and I saw that Johanna, she had some troubles of reading my serve. The balls are jumping perfect for me.”

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