LONDON (Reuters) - Defending Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza suffered a shock defeat in the second round on Thursday, losing 5-7 6-2 6-1 to unseeded Belgian Alison van Uytvanck.
Third seed Muguruza came from a break down to win the first set but saw her feeble challenge fizzle out in the next two as van Uytvanck blew the Spaniard away with her big serving.
The defeat means that five of the top six women’s seeds have now exited the tournament in four days, with top seed Simona Halep the only player in that list to make the third round.
Halep earlier overcame a scare in the first set to beat China’s Zheng Saisai 7-5 6-0. The Romanian world number one takes on Hsieh Su-wei from Taiwan next.
“I had (the) pressure (a) little bit of (possibly) losing that (first) set but I didn’t panic. I think this was the best thing that I did. I was just calm,” Halep said.
There were big upsets in the men’s field too, with last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic losing 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6(3) 7-5 to Argentine Guido Pella, ranked 82. Stan Wawrinka lost 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(6) against Italian journeyman Thomas Fabbiano.
Twice champion Nadal advanced with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over Mikhail Kukushkin but the Spaniard’s progress was far from easy as he endured a 2-1/2 hour test against the tricky Kazakh.
Three-time Wimbledon title holder Novak Djokovic had no problems as he cruised through 6-1 6-2 6-3 against Horacio Zeballos for his 60th match victory at the All England Club.
Highlights from day four of the Wimbledon championships on Thursday (times GMT):
Unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck knocked defending champion Garbine Muguruza out of the tournament, coming from behind to secure a 5-7 6-2 6-1 victory in the second round.
With third seed Muguruza’s exit, five of the top six women’s seeds are out of the tournament inside four days. Top seed Simona Halep is the only survivor.
Kyle Edmund defeated American Bradley Klahn 6-4 7-6(0) 6-2 to move into the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career. Up next for the 23-year-old Briton is 12-times grand slam winner Novak Djokovic.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been to the third round at Wimbledon,” Edmund said. “Novak’s one of the best players in the world, he’ll go down as one of the best players of all time.”
While there have been plenty of questions about the soccer World Cup in media conferences at Wimbledon this year, Nick Kyrgios was happy to field one on basketball on Thursday.
The mercurial Australian said he was excited by LeBron James’s recent switch from Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
“I like it. I think it was probably a choice for him for something after basketball,” Australia’s Kyrgios said.
“He’s got a lot of stuff he probably wants to do after basketball. Wherever he goes, that team becomes great. I’m pretty excited for him.”
Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro thumped Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-1 6-2 in 95 minutes to move into the third round.
Victory for the towering Argentine meant that he matched compatriot David Nalbandian’s tally of 19 Wimbledon match victories and 86 grand-slam match wins.
Briton Johanna Konta was beaten in straights by world number 33 Dominika Cibulkova, losing 6-3 6-4 in 78 minutes.
“It feels great, it was a tough draw. I can only be happy with my performance, it was a great match,” Slovakian Cibulkova said.
“It wasn’t so difficult for me, I have experienced it many times — the crowd were really nice to me. I was really happy to perform such good tennis on Centre Court.”
Konta’s defeat means she has not reached the third round at a major since last year’s Wimbledon.
1602 PELLA PESSIMISTIC ABOUT ARGENTINE SOCCER TEAM FORTUNES
Argentina’s Guido Pella believes his country cannot win another major trophy in his lifetime, adding that the success of five-times world champions Brazil had only added to his gloom.
Speaking after his epic win over Marin Cilic, the 28-year-old said he had stopped watching the World Cup after France eliminated Argentina in the round of 16.
Asked if he would be following the fortunes of their South American neighbors, Pella said with a smile: “If Brazil win the World Cup, I’ll be sad. I don’t want. Sorry.
“Because (they) have five World Cups. We have only two. To have one more it’s impossible... I’ll be dead before Argentina maybe get one more... I want to see Argentina win something.”
World number one and top seed Simona Halep reeled off 10 games in a row after falling behind 5-3 in the first set to beat Zheng Saisai of China 7-5 6-0. Up next for the Romanian is Hsieh Su-Wei from Taiwan.
Halep, who reached the final of the Australian Open and won the French Open this year, will look to improve on her semi-final finish at the All England Club in 2014.
Novak Djokovic hit 31 winners, including 15 aces, in his 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina on Court Two.
With his 60th match win at Wimbledon, the Serbian ensured he reached the third round for the 10th consecutive year.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios also advanced in straight sets, beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 7-5 in 96 minutes.
Second seed Rafa Nadal beat Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 6-3 6-4 in two hours 23 minutes to advance.
The Spaniard has now entered the third round at Wimbledon for the eighth time in his career, but for only the third time since he finished runner-up in 2011.
“He played very well,” Nadal said of his opponent. “I’m happy to be through, I think I played much better today.”
“I went on court with the determination to play at the right intensity. Happy for the victory and happy with way I played. I feel ready to compete.”
Former world number one Angelique Kerber said she was looking forward to her first grasscourt meeting with 18th seed Naomi Osaka in the third round of Wimbledon.
Kerber has a 2-1 head-to-head record against the Japanese player, with all three matches played on hard courts. Kerber lost their only grand-slam clash at last year’s U.S. Open.
“I’m actually looking forward to playing against her on grass... I know for sure I have to play good tennis and play better than the last two matches here,” 11th seed Kerber said after beating American Claire Liu 3-6 6-2 6-4.
“We had really tough matches... I know that I have to be more aggressive, take the game in my hands.”
Third seed Marin Cilic was stunned 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6(3) 7-5 by Argentina’s world number 82 Guido Pella in three hours 12 minutes. The Croatian, runner-up in 2017, last bowed out in the second round in 2013.
“I felt much more confident in my game, I served better and I felt so pumped,” said Pella, who reached the third round of a major for the first time.
“In the fourth set he broke my serve but I was calm... I think I was playing better than before.”
John Isner saved two match points in the fifth set to overcome Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-1 6-4 6-7(6) 6-7(3) 7-5 in three hours 46 minutes to reach the third round.
The big-serving American also fired 64 aces, the third-most at Wimbledon, as he extended his winning streak against qualifiers at grand slams to 10 matches.
Swiss Stan Wawrinka suffered a shock 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(6) defeat by world number 133 Thomas Fabbiano in a match that resumed on Thursday after rain halted play on Wednesday.
Italian Fabbiano saved three set points against three-times grand-slam winner Wawrinka in the second set to advance to the third round of a major for just the second time in his career.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson wrapped up his rain-interrupted match against Andreas Seppi on Court Two winning 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4.
Australia’s Ashleigh Barty beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 7-5 in a match between former Wimbledon girls champions.
Barty won the junior title in 2011 while Bouchard claimed the title the following year.
Victory meant that Barty has a tour-leading 12 grasscourt victories this year.
Daria Gavrilova eased past Australian compatriot Samantha Stosur 6-4 6-1 in 81 minutes to reach the third round at a major for just the fourth time in her career.
Victory also meant that 26th seed Gavrilova improved her career head-to-head record against 34-year-old Stosur to 3-3 after their fourth meeting of the season.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka, seeded 18th, hit 24 winners and converted three out of four break points to power past local hope Katie Boulter 6-3 6-4 and reach the third round.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Lovell/Clare Fallon/Ken Ferris