Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Qualifier stuns Muguruza at Wimbledon

Published:Friday | July 1, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain leaves the court after losing her women's singles match against Jana Cepelova of Slovakia at Wimbledon yesterday.

LONDON, England (AP):

Garbiñe Muguruza's first major tournament as a reigning Grand Slam champion didn't last long.

Less than a month after winning the French Open, the second-seeded Spaniard was beaten in the second round of Wimbledon yesterday by a Slovakian qualifier ranked No. 124.

In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Jana Cepelov· beat a listless and mistake-prone Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 on Court 1 in less than an hour to reach the third round at the All England Club.

Muguruza looked like a shadow of the player who reached the final last year, where she lost to Serena Williams, and beat Williams in the final at Roland Garros this month for her first major championship.

 

NO ENERGY

 

"My energy was missing a little today," Muguruza said. "From yesterday, I felt a little bit tired. During the match and after the match, I'm like, 'Tough day today, empty today.'"

The Spaniard sprayed ugly shots all over the court and finished with 22 unforced errors, compared to just nine winners. Cepelov· had a first-serve percentage of just over 40 percent, but still outplayed Muguruza with 14 winners and 12 errors.

"She played great, no fear, trying a lot of stuff that was working," Muguruza said. "But my energy wasn't there. I was trying, but it didn't work at all."

Cepelov·, Slovakia's No. 5 female player, had to win three matches in qualifying to make it into the main draw. It's not the first time that she's knocked off a top player: Cepelov· ousted Simona Halep in the first round at Wimbledon last year, also on Court 1, and beat Serena Williams at a tournament in Charleston in 2014.

The last time a second-seeded woman lost at Wimbledon before the third round was in 2013, when Victoria Azarenka was beaten in the second round.

The second-seeded men's player fared much better as Andy Murray swept to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 victory on Centre Court over Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan.

Murray, the 2013 champion, went down an early break in the first set, but settled down, took control and dropped only three more games the rest of the way, breaking the 76th-ranked Lu seven times.

 

AMERICAN VICTORIES

 

Earlier, five-time champion Venus Williams led a group of Americans picking up victories as the tournament scrambled to get back on schedule after two days of bad weather.

With play starting earlier on the outside courts and the rain holding off, Williams was among nine American players winning first or second-round matches.

US men's winners included John Isner, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Jack Sock and Steve Johnson. Joining Williams among the women's winners were Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Julia Boserup.

The 36-year-old Williams, the oldest player in the women's draw, needed nearly 21/2 hours to get past 20-year-old Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

It turned out to be an unexpectedly close match between Williams, winner of seven Grand Slam titles and playing in her 19th Wimbledon, and Sakkari, making her first appearance at Wimbledon and third at a major.

Keys, seeded No. 9 after breaking into the top 10 for the first time this month, also reached the third round with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Kirsten Flipkens.

Stephens, seeded No. 18, defeated China's Peng Shuai 7-6 (5), 6-2 in a first-round match, and Boserup advanced when No. 7 Belinda Bencic retired with a wrist injury with the American leading 6-4, 1-0.

The 28th-seeded Querrey advanced to a third-round men's matchup against two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic by beating Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.