Karolina Pliskova tumbles out of Wimbledon, top seed Angelique Kerber wins | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Karolina Pliskova tumbles out of Wimbledon, top seed Angelique Kerber wins

Karolina Pliskova reached the US Open last year and the French Open semi-finals last month, but the Czech world number three has a dismal record at Wimbledon and for the sixth successive year she failed to get past the second round.

tennis Updated: Jul 07, 2017 15:08 IST
Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova reacts during her Wimbledon second round match against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.
Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova reacts during her Wimbledon second round match against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.(REUTERS)

Wimbledon title favourite Karolina Pliskova crashed to a shock second round defeat against world number 108 Magdalena Rybarikova on Thursday. (Watch Video)

Rybarikova battled back from a set down to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court, earning the Slovakian a last 32 clash with Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

Karolina Pliskova reached the US Open last year and the French Open semi-finals last month, but the Czech world number three has a dismal record at Wimbledon and for the sixth successive year she failed to get past the second round.

With defending champion Serena Williams sidelined while she prepares to give birth and world number one Angelique Kerber in poor form this year, Karolina Pliskova had been installed as the bookmakers’ top contender to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish.

She became a firmer favourite on Wednesday when two-time champion Petra Kvitova was knocked out.

Instead, the 25-year-old will leave the All England Club empty-handed after squandering her title bid, although she could still be world number one by the end of the tournament depending on the results of Kerber and Simona Halep.

It is only the second time Rybarikova has reached the last 32 at Wimbledon in 10 main draw appearances.

“I didn’t think ‘I’m going to lose this match’, but I was not that confident. I’m speechless right now and I’m so happy,” said Rybarikova who has a 15-1 record on grass this season.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s special. I had two surgeries and I haven’t played for seven months and right now I’m in the third round at Wimbledon.”

Germany's Angelique Kerber reacts after winning against Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens during their women's singles second round match. (AFP)

Kerber wins

Top seed Angelique Kerber battled past Kirsten Flipkens to reach the third round at Wimbledon, overcoming the Belgian’s unorthodox game to win 7-5 7-5 on Thursday.

At times in the first set Kerber found Flipkens’ game unfathomable as the Belgian tried her luck with a number of perfectly-weighted drop shots and low slices, while frequently charging the net in an effort to upset the German baseliner.

The pair exchanged four successive breaks of serve, before Kerber regained her composure to hold and then broke Flipkens for the third straight time to reassert her authority before taking the first set.

It was another even battle in the second as the players exchanged breaks before Kerber struck decisively in the 11th game and then served out to win in one hour 44 minutes.

Kuznetsova, Radwanska win

Former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded seven, took her career record over fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova to 7-1 with a 6-0, 7-5 win.

Kuznetsova next faces Slovenia’s world number 265th Polona Hercog, who reached the third round at a Slam for the first time since 2010 with a 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-2 win over Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up, saved two match points to see off Christina McHale 5-7, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.