Monday 27 May 2019

Caroline Wozniacki bows out of Wimbledon following shock defeat against rank outsider

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts during her second round match against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts during her second round match against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova

Jonathan Veal

Wimbledon second seed Caroline Wozniacki became the biggest casualty of the tournament so far as she was a second-round loser to Ekaterina Makarova.

The Dane, who won the title in Eastbourne last week and was seeded second in London, lost 6-4 1-6 7-5 to the Russian on Court One.

Wozniacki's exit means half of the top 10 seeds have already been dumped out in the opening two rounds. She follows Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Garcia and Petra Kvitova on her way home.

Some great hitting allowed unseeded Makarova to steam into a 5-1 lead in the first set, which she eventually took 6-4.

Wozniacki is renowned for her fighting spirit and looked to have gained the upper hand after cruising to the second set to level up.

Makarova regrouped, though, and surged to a 5-1 lead in the decider before having to fend off another fightback.

She served for the match, then had four match points at 5-4 before eventually getting the job done at the sixth attempt.

Makarova said: "Caroline is always a very tough opponent and we have played so many times.

"It's only the second time I have beaten her. It is tough to face her but I am so happy."

Meanwhile, Madison Keys celebrated Independence Day by moving into the third round of Wimbledon.

The American, seeded 10th, made light work of Thailand's Luksika Kumkhum 6-4 6-3.

Croatian Donna Vekic followed up her toppling of fourth seed Sloane Stephens with a 7-5 6-4 win over Rebecca Peterson.

Karolina Pliskova won the battle of the former world number ones against Victoria Azarenka.

The Czech, the seventh seed, triumphed 6-3 6-3 in the Centre Court opener and keeps her hopes of a maiden grand slam alive.

Azarenka, who is ranked at 87, is only just getting back to regular action after a custody dispute involving her son but she was competitive throughout, with Pliskova winning the big moments.

Venus Williams overcame a scare to book her place in the third round.

The 2017 runner-up came from a set down to beat Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6 6-0 6-1.

She was sloppy in losing the opening set but got her act together, dropping just one game on her way to the three-set success.

Serena Williams enjoyed her Centre Court return and comfortably made her way into the third round.

The seven-time champion had not graced the main show court since her 2016 final win over Angelique Kerber but it was like she had never been away against unseeded Viktoriya Tomova.

Williams was in total control and overpowered the Bulgarian to win 6-1 6-4.

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