Spain's Garbine Muguruza cools her palm during her women's singles match against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium, on the fourth day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Garbine Muguruza's hopes of defending her Wimbledon title are over. Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Garbine Muguruza refuses to blame Court Two location for her shock Wimbledon exit



Garbine Muguruza refused to blame being placed on Court Two at Wimbledon for her shock second-round exit to Alison Van Uytvanck.

The defending champion's hopes of a third major title ended as she was shocked 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 by the world No 47 from Belgium.

Being scheduled last on Court Two left the Spaniard perhaps vulnerable to a surprise, after a long day of waiting to play.

A defending champion away from either Centre Court or Court One is rare and Muguruza was diplomatic.

"I was ready to play and that is it, nothing to say," she said. "There is nothing I can do, that is what they decided, I have to follow the schedule.

"Of course I wanted to play on the bigger court, it's always my preference but to say something now makes no sense.

"I played my match, the players who are playing on Centre Court deserve it."

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On her opponent's performance she added: "She played big today, she took a lot of risks and it worked for her. I also think my level today wasn't where I wanted it to be."

A strangely out of sorts Muguruza failed to cope with Van Uytvanck's tremendous hitting, leaving the 24-year-old winner to admit she would now love nothing more than to reach Wimbledon's second week for the first time.

"Inside I was dying, especially serving out for the match," said Van Uytvanck, who will now meet 28th seed Anett Kontaveit in the third round.

"Before it was actually quite OK. I mean, obviously you're nervous when you enter the court and you have to start the match. You always want that first game, you know.

"But after that, I was feeling quite good. Confidence was there. I'm playing well the last couple of days, so that's what I took with me on the court.

"In sets two and three I was just there mentally. I was in the zone and just hitting every ball, and it was going my way."

Spaniard Muguruza has become the sixth top-10 seed to lose in the opening two rounds of this year's women's singles.

Van Uytvanck has only ever progressed beyond the second round at a major tournament once before, and admitted she cannot wait to try to push into uncharted territory.

"I would love to be in the second week for the first time for me in Wimbledon," she added. "It would be great, and I will prepare everything to make it possible."

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Day 5, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day When Dilruwan Perera dismissed Yasir Shah to end Pakistan’s limp resistance, the Sri Lankans charged around the field with the fevered delirium of a side not used to winning. Trouble was, they had not. The delivery was deemed a no ball. Sri Lanka had a nervy wait, but it was merely a stay of execution for the beleaguered hosts.

Stat of the day – 5 Pakistan have lost all 10 wickets on the fifth day of a Test five times since the start of 2016. It is an alarming departure for a side who had apparently erased regular collapses from their resume. “The only thing I can say, it’s not a mitigating excuse at all, but that’s a young batting line up, obviously trying to find their way,” said Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s coach.

The verdict Test matches in the UAE are known for speeding up on the last two days, but this was extreme. The first two innings of this Test took 11 sessions to complete. The remaining two were done in less than four. The nature of Pakistan’s capitulation at the end showed just how difficult the transition is going to be in the post Misbah-ul-Haq era.

Racecard:
2.30pm: Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoun Emirates Breeders Society Challenge; Conditions (PA); Dh40,000; 1,600m
3pm: Handicap; Dh80,000; 1,800m
3.30pm: Jebel Ali Mile Prep Rated Conditions; Dh110,000; 1,600m
4pm: Handicap; Dh95,000; 1,950m
4.30pm: Maiden; Dh65,000; 1,400m
5pm: Handicap; Dh85,000; 1,200m


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