German star Sabine Lisicki blasted a WTA record 27 aces en route to a 6-1, 7-6(4) win over Belinda Bencic today in the second round at Birmingham.
“It’s nice to have another record!” Lisicki said on court. “It’s obviously a good weapon to have on grass. And I love playing on grass, so it’s nice to be back at the Aegon Classic Birmingham.”
Last summer, Lisicki hit the fastest serve ever recorded.
While the 8th-seeded Lisicki advanced, several seeds weren’t as fortunate. Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic was stunned by grunting qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6). And Eugenie Bouchard continued her struggles falling to Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
The loss sends the 11th-ranked Bouchard to 7-12 on the year. Ahead of her Wimbledon runner-up defense, she has lost three straight matches and 10 of her last 11.
“I was trying to be more aggressive than I’ve been in the past, so I felt I did that okay in the first and second set,” said Bouchard who also lost to Kiki at the French Open. “Then I don’t know what happened in the third.
“Every negative adjective you could think of, I would use that. Just very, very frustrated.”
Jelena Jankovic, Carla Saurez Navarro and Angelique Kerber all advanced.
The tournament was also hit as former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka withdrew from her match against Zarina Diyas with a left foot injury.
“It’s very disappointing for me to make this decision but I tried to practice and it just doesn’t feel 100%,” Azarenka said in a statement. “I don’t think it’s the best time for me to take a risk right now, especially right before Wimbledon, and I need to make sure I have the best preparation possible. I have definitely enjoyed my time here in Birmingham and hopefully I can come back next year and play fully fit.”
Tomorrow, Simona Halep returns to face Klara Koukalova.
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