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Wimbledon’s Ladies Defending Champion • Spains Garbine Muguruza Crashes Out Of SW 19

Garbine Muguruza of Spain returns to Naomi Broady of Britain in their first round match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 03 July 2018. EPA-EFE/GERRY PENNY



By Richard Pagliario


Drawn forward chasing a drop shot, Garbiñe Muguruza slipped, slid and tumbled to the court.


That fall was a prelude to a major crash.


In a wild week of Wimbledon upsets, world No. 47 talented Alison Van Uytvanck pulled off the biggest one of all dismissing defending Wimbledon champion Muguruza, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, to charge into the Wimbledon third round for the first time.


The 24-year-old Belgian blasted a serve winner down the middle then thrust her arms toward the sky wearing a wide grin in celebration of her first trip to the Wimbledon third round.


Van Uytvanck carried a 1-15 record vs. Top 20 opponents onto Court No. 2 and had failed to survive the second round in 15 of 16 career major appearances.


None of that mattered much to the powerful Belgian, who played proactive tennis reeling off 12 of the final 15 games in overpowering one of the most explosive players in the game.


The third-seeded Spaniard made ignominious history as the second defending ladies’ champion in the Open Era to bow out before round three.


As light faded, Muguruza’s vaunted baseline game dissipated as she lost the confidence and control of her forehand.


Van Uytvanck squandered a 4-2 first-set lead, dropping five of the next six games.


Resetting to start the second, the Belgian made a bold decision: Go big or go home.


“Obviously she’s so aggressive, so if I would keep letting her play, I would lose anyway,” van Uytvanck said. “So I was like, ‘Let’s try this and maybe if it works, we have a chance.’


“That was my plan to do in the second set and in the third, and obviously it worked well. I played actually a very good match, so really happy to actually be through to the third round for the first time for me.”


Muguruza’s stunning exit comes 24 hours after Wimbledon doubles champion Ekaterina Makarova bounced second-ranked Caroline Wozniacki out of the second round.


Women’s seeds continue to dwindle like the grass ground down behind the baseline.


While Wozniacki complained of flying bugs during her loss, the upset bug has plagued ladies’ seeds.


Muguruza is the sixth of the Top 8 seeds to crash out of the draw, joining fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens, fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia and two-time former champion Petra Kvitova, who all fell in the first round.


Three former Wimbledon champions—2004 champion Maria Sharapova, two-time champion Kvitova and 2017 winner Muguruza—have bit the dust before the end of round two leaving the draw wide open.


Seven-time champion Serena Williams, world No. 1 Simona Halep and 2016 finalist Angelique Kerber are the top three favorites among oddsmakers with five-time champion Venus Williams and US Open and Roland Garros semifinalist Madison Keys also in the mix.


Playing with the confidence of a grass-court veteran, van Uytvanck commanded the final set behind her imposing serve.


The 2015 Roland Garros quarterfinalist served 65 percent and won 16 of 20 points played on her serve in the decisive set.


Two-time Wimbledon finalist Muguruza was moving more carefully following her fall early in the third set.


Ultimately, the Spaniard’s flat forehand failed her as Muguruza frequently struggled to find net clearance, often netting her forehand at crunch time.


Van Uytvanck converted five of nine break-point chances during the final two sets, capping the biggest win of her career in one hour 52 minutes. She will play 28th-seeded Anett Kontaveit for a place spot in the round of 16.


Want a quick laugh From Dusan Vemic? click below


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