Another giant falls as third-seed Muguruza loses to Van Uytvanck

By: AP July 06,2018 - 10:22 PM

Garbine Muguruza falls trying to return the ball to Alison Van Uytvanck during their women’s singles match on the fourth day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. AP

London — Garbine Muguruza insisted she wasn’t thinking about attempting to collect a second consecutive Wimbledon championship. She was adamant that she was not focusing on defending her title.

“It doesn’t really matter,” she would say, “what happened in 2017.”

Well, it seems safe to say she’ll really want to forget what happened at the All England Club in 2018. Muguruza was stunned in the second round 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 by 47th-ranked Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium on Thursday, the latest upset in a series of them at the grass-court major tournament.

“It’s a little bit sad,” Muguruza said. “But today didn’t go my way.”

That’s become a familiar refrain for prominent women at this topsy-turvy Wimbledon.

Only two of the top eight seeded women are still in the field after four days of action.

Van Uytvanck began this week with a 1-4 record at Wimbledon and only one Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance to her name. Muguruza, meanwhile, owns two major titles, including the 2016 French Open, and was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2015.

But that didn’t matter on this day.

Van Uytvanck was aggressive from the baseline, compiling a 29-18 advantage in winners, and broke in seven of Muguruza’s 13 service games. Still, it was not easy finishing off the most significant victory of her career.

“Inside,” the 24-year-old Belgian said, “I was, like, dying.”

The No. 3-seeded Muguruza joined No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 Sloane Stephens, No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 6 Caroline Garcia and No. 8 Petra Kvitova on the way out so far, along with five-time major champion Maria Sharapova. Those departures leave No. 1 Simona Halep, the French Open champion who won in straight sets Thursday, and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova in the field, along with seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, who is seeded 25th, and five-time champ Venus Williams, who is No. 9.

“I mean, anyone, on a good day, can beat anyone,” Van Uytvanck said. “That’s what I think. I still think the top players, their average level is higher than, let’s say, sub-top players. But anyone on a good day can beat anyone, for sure.”

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TAGS: another, falls, giant, loses, Muguruza, Third-seed, Van Uytvanck

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