Defending champion Garbine Muguruza bows out of Wimbledon

Number three seed beaten by unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck

Garbine Muguruza in action on her way to defeat against Belgian Alison van Uytvanck at Wimbledon. Photograph: PA Photo

Garbine Muguruza in action on her way to defeat against Belgian Alison van Uytvanck at Wimbledon. Photograph: PA Photo

 

The defending women’s champion Garbiñe Muguruza lost in the second round at Wimbledon, after being beaten 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 by the unseeded Belgian Alison van Uytvanck.

Van Uytvanck, ranked 47 in the world, played the match of her life in the All England Club twilight. Muguruza, champion in 2017, was strangely out of sorts but could not cope with Van Uytvanck’s tremendous hitting. The Spaniard becomes the sixth top-10 seed to lose in the opening two rounds of this year’s tournament.

Muguruza came from a break down to survive a nervy first set but there was no let off in the next two and the third seed was left shaking her head in disbelief as van Uytvanck bombarded her court with serves that often clocked at over 110mph, with the fastest recorded at 115 mph. But it was not just the serve that caused Muguruza mayhem.

She slipped and fell over heavily on her shoulder while chasing down a van Uytvanck drop shot as the final set ran away from her in the blink of an eye, with a netted serve ending her challenge.

There is nothing like the confidence that comes with being a grand slam champion. The world number one Simona Halep looked in trouble when she trailed Zheng Saisai of China 5-3 in the first set yesterday but found a few extra gears when she needed them, reeling off 10 straight games to claim a 7-5, 6-0 win and a place in the third round.

Playing with freedom

A semi-finalist in 2014 and a quarter-finalist last year, Halep is playing with the freedom earned by getting that first slam title under her belt at Roland Garros last month. A little rusty coming in, having not played a warm-up event, the Romanian knows she will need to play better but is not lacking in belief.

“It would be a huge thing to win Wimbledon,” said Halep, who plays the tricky Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan next. “But in this moment, I’m really far [away] to do that. You need a better game to win on grass. You have to be more aggressive, to go to the net more. I’m trying just to adjust myself on this surface as much as possible. I have the courage to say maybe I have a chance to win this title but I don’t want to focus on that. I just want to focus match by match. If I will be in the end of the tournament, that is going to be a big challenge.”

Two of the giantkillers from the first round, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus and Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, avoided a letdown. Sasnovich, who ousted the two-time champion Petra Kvitova, beat American Taylor Townsend 6-4, 6-0, while Diatchenko, who upset Maria Sharapova, followed up with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over another American, Sofia Kenin.

Belinda Bencic continued her comeback from injury, the Swiss recovering to beat Alison Riskeof the US 1-6, 7-6 (10), 6-2, saving four match points in the second-set tie-break.

Katie Boulter has come a long way in 2018, and a long way even in the past month. Her Wimbledon adventure came to an end on Thursday when she was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by No 18 seed Naomi Osaka in the second round, but on the evidence of this week, she should be a fixture in grand slam events in the future after giving one of the rising stars of the women’s game a real fight.

“I actually felt really comfortable out there,” said the 21-year-old Boulter, who received a wildcard into the main draw. “She hits the ball harder than me, she hits it more consistently [SO]it’s something I need to get used to”

The 20-year-0ld Osaka, meanwhile, is into the third round of a slam for the eighth time. – Guardian

WOMEN’S SECOND-ROUND RESULTS
(1) Simona Halep (Rom) bt Saisai Zheng (Chn) 7-5 6-0
Alison Van Uytvanck (Bel) bt (3) Garbine Muguruza (Esp) 5-7 6-2 6-
(11) Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Claire Liu (USA) 3-6 6-2 6-4
(14) Daria Kasatkina (Rus) bt Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) 6-2 6-3
(15) Elise Mertens (Bel) bt Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-1 6-3
(17) Ashleigh Barty (Aus) bt Eugenie Bouchard (Can) 6-4 7-5
(18) Naomi Osaka (Jpn) bt Katie Boulter (Brit) 6-3 6-4
Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) bt (22) Johanna Konta (Brit) 6-3 6-4
(23) Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) bt Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr) 6-1 6-4
(26) Daria Gavrilova (Aus) bt Samantha Stosur (Aus) 6-4 6-1
(27) Carla Suarez Navarro (Esp) bt Sara Sorribes Tormo (Esp) 6-4 6-1
(28) Anett Kontaveit (Est) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-2 7-6 (7-4)
Katerina Siniakova (Cze) bt Ons Jabeur (Tun) 5-7 6-4 9-7 0-0
Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) bt Lara Arruabarrena (Esp) 6-3 6-3
Vitalia Diatchenko (Rus) bt Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-4 6-1
Belinda Bencic (Swi) bt Alison Riske (USA) 1-6 7-6 (12-10) 6-2
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-0 6-4

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