Magdalena Rybarikova shocks third-seeded Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon

Judith Bessette
Julho 7, 2017

Karolina Pliskova, a favourite for the Wimbledon title, was dumped out in round two on Thursday, blowing the women's draw wide open in one of the shocks of the tournament so far.

All looked smooth sailing for Pliskova when she won the first set and broke for 3-2 in the second.

She beat both Venus and Serena Williams on her way to the final of the US Open a year ago before losing to Angelique Kerber, and has since made the quarter-finals in Australia and semi-finals in Paris.

Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova is an experienced campaigner, however, who is rebuilding her rankings after a series of injury woes and represents a tricky test on Centre Court.

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. "It will be very hard".

But at that point the afternoon torpor that the crowd had been in all match seemed to descend on the Czech.

Rybarikova's unorthodox game, built on heavy slice, drop shots and a tenacious attitude, denied Pliskova any rhythm. The Czech pounced by running around her opponent's second serve to smack back a powerful forehand and force an error, before holding to love to take the set.

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Rybarikova, who reached a career-high ranking of 31 in 2013, had surgery on her left wrist and right knee in 2016 and missed the rest of the season after a first-round defeat at Wimbledon a year ago.

"Obviously it's disappointing", she said.

"That's tennis. You still can play well and you don't have to win".

"I am speechless right now", said the 28-year-old, who has now won 15 of her 16 grass-court matches this summer. That's my case today.

"I didn't think "I'm going to lose this match", but I was not that confident". It is an incredible feeling.

The 23-year-old reached the semi-finals of the French Open for the second straight year last month and has fourth-round appearances in the Australian Open and US Open.

"It was a hard time for me and my fitness coach told me that something good was going to happen".

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