Reigning champion Garbine Muguruza became the latest big name to fall before the end of the week as Alison Van Uytvanck came from a set down to win on the fading light of Court No.2.
Muguruza, the No.3 seed, became the sixth of the top eight to exit by the end of the second round as she found herself unable to cope with the relentless hitting of the Belgian, who had never previously beaten a top 10 player in her career.
That this win was so unremarkable spoke to just how brutal this competition has been for the pre-tournament favourites, with only Serena Williams, No.1 seed Simona Halep and seventh ranked Karolina Pliskova still standing going into Friday.
Muguruza had claimed the first set 7-5 but even then there were signs of her downfall. The Spaniard’s forehand was wayward, her mood far from amused. At 5-4 up she was serving for the set but handed an opponent a break she soon had to win back as she clung on to the initial victory.
Van Uytvanck was emboldened by how close she had pushed the No.3 seed and the 24-year-old simply went for broke, her powerful serving and explosive forehand ensuring she was never unduly threatened. A superb shot down the line took the Belgian to 4-2 but from there Muguruza had a chance to break back.
When that vanished so did the champion’s fight, a double fault in the fourth game and the most marginal of long forehands allowing Van Uytvanck to take the first of two breaks that would secure her passage into round three.
Source: Evening Standard