Misc Tennis

Defending Wimbledon champ Marketa Vondrousova loses in 1st round

Defending Wimbledon champ Marketa Vondrousova loses in 1st round

WIMBLEDON, England — Marketa Vondrousova became the first defending women’s champion at Wimbledon to lose in the first round the next year since 1994, eliminated 6-4, 6-2 by Jessica Bouzas Maneiro at Centre Court on Tuesday.

Vondrousova was a surprise title winner at the All England Club 12 months ago, the first unseeded woman to claim the trophy at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament.

Now she enters the books in another — and less desirable — historic way. The only other time in the sport’s Open era, which dates to 1968, that a woman went from a championship at Wimbledon to an immediate exit a year later was when Steffi Graf was defeated by Lori McNeil 30 years ago.

Vondrousova was seeded No. 6 this time, but the left-hander, who also was the runner-up at the 2019 French Open and a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago, was never at her best Tuesday. She appeared to still be suffering after-effects from a fall during a tune-up tournament on grass in Berlin last month that hurt her hip.

The day went much smoother for some other women’s top seeds. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina and No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula all won in straight sets.

A five-time Grand Slam winner, Swiatek is still searching for her first trip to the Wimbledon semifinals, but opened her fortnight with a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Sofia Kenin.

Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, put away Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-1. Pegula advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 win over fellow American Ashlyn Krueger.

No. 10 seed Ons Jabeur, a runner-up at each of the past two Wimbledon tournaments, also notched a straight-sets win with a 6-3, 6-1 result over Moyuka Uchijima.

No. 13 Jelena Ostapenko, No. 15 Liudmila Samsonova, No. 17 Anna Kalinskaya, No. 23 Caroline Garcia, No. 27 Katerina Siniakova, No. 30 Leylah Fernandez and No. 32 Katie Boulter, were also seeded winners on Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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