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Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova beaten by player who has never won on grass before

July 2nd, 2024

Marketa Vondrousova is the first defending champion in 30 years to lose in the first round of Wimbledon – AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Defending Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova suffered a shock first-round defeat after being stunned by Jessica Bouzas Maneiro on Centre Court.

In one of the biggest upsets at Wimbledon in recent memory, the Czech No 6 seed, who memorably won her first Grand Slam last year at SW19, crashed out after being beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Maneiro, a player ranked 83rd in the world who had never won a game on grass.

It means Vondrousova is the first defending champion in 30 years to lose in the first round of Wimbledon.

Not since Lori McNeil defeated three-time defending champion Stefanie Graf in 1994 has a player managed to topple a defending female champion in the opening round of Wimbledon. In 2003, Lleyton Hewitt also fell victim in the first round, having triumphed the year before, in the most recent instance of the three times it has happened in history across the men’s and women’s game.

The seismic upset marked the biggest win of 21-year-old Maneiro’s career. The Spaniard had never defeated a top-40 player before her meeting with Vondrousova, having only faced a top-10 player once before when she lost to Jelena Ostapenko on home soil in Madrid in April.

The Czech woman seemed to be restricted in her movement around the court and appeared to be struggling with a hip problem.

“Now I’m really happy,” Maneiro said after the match. “This is one of the most important moments of my life, in my career here on this court, this is amazing.

“The atmosphere here, the tournament is the most beautiful tournament I ever played in my life so thank you so much to everyone who came here today to watch.”

She added: “I was just thinking about enjoying the moment and try to play Marketa. She’s one of the best players in the world. She won last year here. I had no pressure, enjoy the moment, enjoy the tournament and just trying to be free-playing and I did it.”

More to follow…

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