Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Three former champions out of Wimbledon
First it was five-time champion Venus Williams, who lost her first-round Wimbledon match to qualifier Coco Gauff, and now--on day two--two more former champions made their exits.
Both of these stories are sad. 2004 champion Maria Sharapova had to retire in the third set of her match against Pauline Parmentier because of an injury to her left wrist tendon. This marks the first time that the five-time major winner has ever retired during a major. Sharapova came close to reprising her Wimbledon glory in 2011, but was beaten in the final by Petra Kvitova. Now, after major issues with a shoulder injury (and truly terrible doctors), the Russian star just can't seem to catch a break.
Sad in a different way is the first-round defeat of 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza by qualifier Beatriz Haddad-Maia. It was the Brazilian player's second main draw match win on grass, and it was clinched when Muguruza double-faulted on match point. Last year, Muguruza was eliminated in the second round by Alison Van Uytvanck.
I often use the word "mercurial" to describe players like Muguruza, Alona Ostapenko and Sloane Stephens. Ostapenko, in my opinion, needs direction regarding both her wayward serve and her tendency to go for winners too frequently. Stephens, I can't figure out at all. The Spaniard, however, may be the biggest mystery of all. She is a superb athlete, the most fluid of ball-strikers, and--when she's "switched on," a very poised figure on court. But much of the time, Muguruza is just a mess.
Two-time champion Petra Kvitova didn't decide to enter the tournament until the last minute because of a forearm injury. Her arm was heavily taped today, but she was in good form when she defeated Ons Jabeur in straight sets.
22nd seed Donna Vekic lost in a tight three sets to 's-Hertogenbosch champion Alison Riske, and 32nd seed Lesia Tsurenko fell to Barbora Strycova.