World No. 2 Garbine Muguruza’s thoughts of challenging Serena Williams for the world No. 1 spot got reset on Thursday when the Spaniard was stunned in the second round at Wimbledon by unseeded Slovak Jana Cepelova 6-3, 6-2.
The 23-year-old Cepelova, ranked No. 124, beat last year’s finalist after, in 2015, stunning Simona Halep on the same court.
“I have some great players beaten so I’m very satisfied,” said Cepelova, who also recorded a win over world No. 1 Serena Williams in 2014. “I am really surprised, I didn’t expect two sets…Last year I beat Halep on this court and I had great memories.”
Top 10 winners through on the day were No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska edging Croat Ana Konjuh 6-2, 4-6, 9-7; No. 4 Angelique Kerber rolling American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-4; No. 5 Simona Halep dismissing former Slam winner Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-1; No. 6 Roberta Vinci working past China’s Duan Yingying 6-3, 7-5; No. 8 Venus Williams outlasting Greece’s Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 6-3; and No. 9 Madison Keys defeating Kirsten Flipkens in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Halep keeps advancing despite an Achilles injury that kept her out of any grasscourt warm-up events.
“If you don’t play matches before coming here, you are a bit stressed that you are not prepared like official for competition,” Halep said. “But I had many days practicing here, playing points. So I was ready to start the tournament.”
She will next meet No. 26 seed Kiki Bertens, who beat German Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-4.
“It will be a tough one,” Halep said. “I know her. She’s in good form now, it’s different here. It’s grass. I played against her many years ago, so I don’t know her very well. But it’s gonna be a tough one. It’s gonna be a good challenge for me.”
Lower-seeded winners on the day were No. 11 Timea Bacsinszky, No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro from a set down beating Czech Denisa Allertova, No. 18 Sloane Stephens, No. 19 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 24 Barbora Strycova from a set down topping Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, No. 27 CoCo Vandeweghe, No. 28 Lucie Safarova, and No. 29 Darya Kasatkina.
Ten other players were upset-minded on Thursday as American Julia Boserup defeated No. 7 Belinda Bencic when the Swiss retired in the second set, German Sabine Lisicki served off No. 14 Samantha Stosur, Japan’s Misaki Doi shocked No. 15 Karolina Pliskova 7-6(5), 6-3, Canadian Genie Bouchard outlasted No. 16 Johanna Konta in three sets, Kazak Yaroslava Shvedova beat No. 17 Elina Svitolina in three, France’s Alize Cornet edged No. 20 Sara Errani 7-6(4), 7-5, Kiwi Marina Erakovic from a set down beat No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, Czech Katerina Siniakova from a set down beat No. 30 seed Caroline Garcia, Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich topped No. 31 Kristina Mladenovic, and Russian Elena Vesnina upset No. 32 Andrea Petkovic.
Matches to look for on Friday at the All England Club include (1) Serena Williams vs. Christina McHale in an all-American, (8) Venus Williams vs. (29) Daria Kasatkina, (5) Simona Halep vs. (25) Kiki Bertens, and (9) Madison Keys vs. Alize Cornet.
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