LONDON, United Kingdom June 30 – Garbine Muguruza, the second seed and French Open champion, was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round on Thursday, losing 6-3, 6-2 to Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova.
A below-par Muguruza, who was runner-up to Serena Williams last year, lost 6-3, 6-2 to Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova, the world number 124, in just 59 minutes on Court One.
It was the same arena where the 23-year-old Cepelova had defeated Simona Halep last year, a result which illustrated the Slovak’s liking for the big time having also seen off Williams in Charleston in 2014.
“I deserved to win. I’m so happy,” said Cepelova.
Spanish 22-year-old Muguruza was bidding to become only the eighth woman to win the French Open and Wimbledon back to back.
But she was undone by 22 unforced errors and hitting just nine winners in a flat performance.
Nishikori saw off France’s Julien Benneteau, whose world ranking has sunk to 547 due to injury, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Centre Court and goes on to meet Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
“I started playing more aggressive and more solid,” said the 26-year-old Nishikori, who has never got beyond the Wimbledon fourth round.
“It wasn’t an easy match. He started well so it was a great match for me.”
– Bencic retires –
Nineteen-year-old Belinda Bencic, the Swiss seventh seed, retired from her second round match against US qualifier Julia Boserup.
Bencic was 6-4, 1-0 down on Court Three to the world number 225.
Bencic, who missed the clay court season with a back injury, had only completed her first round match late Wednesday and struggled Thursday with a wrist problem.
“It’s my left wrist. I think I have to get it checked. It started a couple of days ago,” said Bencic. “It just got worse. That’s why I had to retire.”
Boserup, 24, goes on to face Andrea Petkovic of Germany or Russia’s Elena Vesnina for a place in the last 16.
Spain’s David Ferrer, the 13th seed, lost to fellow 34-year-old and grass court specialist Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic, regarded as a dark horse for the title, brushed past Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2.
Raonic, a semi-finalist in 2014 and who next faces Jack Sock of the United States, denied stories he had split with coach John McEnroe after just three weeks together.
“It’s inaccurate. He was there with me this morning,” he said.
Sock’s compatriot Sam Querrey, the 28th seed, eased past Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 for the dubious honour of facing defending champion Novak Djokovic for a place in the last 16.
Britain’s Dan Evans also booked a date to remember when his 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-1 win over Ukrainian 30th seed Aleksandr Dolgopolov handed him a third round clash with seven-time champion Roger Federer.
– Schedule battered –
Later Thursday, world number two Andy Murray takes centre stage when the 2013 champion faces Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun.
Lu made the quarter-finals in 2010 beating former runner-up Andy Roddick on the way.
Sixty singles matches were scheduled for Thursday after only 90 minutes of action was possible on the outside courts on Wednesday.
In an indication of the battering the schedule had taken, the first round was only completed just before 1:00pm (1200 GMT) on day five when Barbora Strycova beat Anett Kontaveit.
French 16th seed Gilles Simon was knocked out by former semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov but was a winner in the ranting stakes after blasting officials for making him play during light afternoon drizzle.
“I won’t play when it rains. I know you have commitments to TV but if I get injured I will sue you and I will win,” Simon told the umpire before the brief shower passed on.
Five-time women’s champion Venus Williams ignored her exile to Court 18 to battle past Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Williams, the 36-year-old eighth seed, next plays Russian 29th seed Darya Kasatkina for a place in the last 16.
German fourth seed and Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber beat Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-1, 6-4.
There were also second round wins for fifth seed Simona Halep of Romania and US ninth-seed Madison Keys.