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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: French Open champ Muguruza knocked out, Murray advances

PHOTOS: French Open champ Muguruza knocked out, Murray advances

Last updated on: July 01, 2016 11:53 IST

IMAGES from Day 4 at Wimbledon:

Jana Cepelova

IMAGE: Slovakia's Jana Cepelova celebrates winning her match against Garbine Muguruza. Photograph: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Second seed Garbine Muguruza, bidding to add the Wimbledon crown to her French Open title, was sensationally beaten in the second round on Thursday by Slovakian qualifier Jana Cepelova 6-3, 6-2 in the shock of the tournament so far.

Spaniard Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in last year's final, had been one of the favourites for the title but looked lacklustre, getting only 42 percent of first serves in and struggling with the accuracy of her baseline powershots.

Garbine Muguruza

IMAGE: Garbine Mugaruza of Spain plays a forehand. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

She had laboured in the first round against Italy's Camila Giorgi, winning through in three sets

However, Cepelova, ranked 124th, brought all the pedigree that helped her down then world number three Simona Halep in the first round last year to Court One, racing through the match in 59 minutes.

Muguruza's defeat removed one of the biggest challengers to Serena Williams's title defence and the American's bid to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slams.

Regal Murray hurries into round two

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Andy Murray reacts during his second round match against Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Andy Murray produced the kind of imperious form that has propelled him into two Grand Slam finals this year as he beat Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in the Wimbledon second round.

Lu, the son of a chicken farmer, ruffled a few feathers on Centre Court when he jumped out to a 2-0 lead before extending it to 3-1 in the opening set. However, once Murray had levelled for 3-3, it did not take him long to clip his rival's wings.

From 3-2 up in the second set, Murray won seven games on the trot as Lu struggled to find a way to keep pace with Murray's potent groundstrokes.

Nishikori survives scare to overpower Benneteau

Kei Nishikori

IMAGE: Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a backhand. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Japan's Kei Nishikori survived an early scare before he dispatched buccaneering Frenchman Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the Wimbledon second round.

The Centre Court crowd scented an upset when Benneteau came out all guns blazing, catching the fifth seed cold with a succession of blistering groundstrokes and artful drop shots.

But after losing the first set, Nishikori gradually found his range and asserted his authority, pushing Benneteau back with relentlessly accurate drives on both wings.

With the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Kent watching from the Royal Box, the 26-year-old produced a suitably aristocratic performance to book his place in the third round.

There have been concerns surrounding Nishikori's fitness in recent weeks. He was forced to pull out of the Halle tournament in Germany because of a rib injury and coming into Wimbledon said he was not 100 percent yet.

"It was good. It was no problem today," Nishikori told reporters. "I've been feeling good on grass. Little by little I'm getting more confidence.

"My goal is to go to the quarter-final. That's my first goal."

Bouchard shows glimpses of best to oust Konta

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard plays a backhand during her second round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta on Thursday

IMAGE: Canada's Eugenie Bouchard plays a backhand during her second round match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta on Thursday. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Eugenie Bouchard reminded a Centre Court crowd why not long ago she was billed as tennis's new golden girl and why she still might be when crushing the Wimbledon hopes of Britain's 16th seed Johanna Konta on Thursday.

Since reaching the final in 2014 against Petra Kvitova the Canadian's career has faltered while Konta has risen from obscurity, reaching the semi-finals of this year's Australian Open and rising into the world's top 20.

But the 22-year-old Bouchard made a mockery of her world ranking of 48 to win 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 and set up a third-round clash with Slovakia's 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova.

"I think it's my best performance of 2016. I have been working very hard, and I know that matches like this with a good performance will come, that it's just a question of time," Bouchard told reporters.

"I just need to keep working hard so that they are there more often. You know, just keep going."

Bouchard's decision to return to coach Nick Saviano, under whom she reached fifth in the world in 2014 after reaching the semis at the Australian Open and French before dazzling at Wimbledon, appears to have sparked a return to form.

Great Britain's Johanna Konta falls during her match against Eugenie Bouchard 

IMAGE: Great Britain's Johanna Konta falls during her match against Eugenie Bouchard. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

She struck the ball early and with searing power to dominate the first set, but squandered game points on all but one of Konta's service games in the second as the match swung in favour of the British player.

Konta had a break point at the start of the deciding set but Bouchard saved it with a volley and two double faults in the next game allowed Bouchard to move into a 2-0 lead.

The writing was on the wall for Konta when Bouchard battled back from 0-40 to hold for 3-0.

Konta did stop the rot at 0-5 but Bouchard was too far ahead and sealed victory when Konta wafted a return long.

So in the zone was Bouchard that she almost wanted the match to continue.

"It's more about just being so in the moment that, it's almost I didn't want the match to end. I think it was good. I was enjoying myself out there," she said.

Konta's defeat means only one British woman is left in the draw with Tara Moore playing Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round on Friday. But she was not too downbeat, instead praising the performance of Bouchard.

"I definitely expected her to play well. Although her ranking may have gone down over the past year, her level of tennis never went away," the 25-year-old said.

Radwanksa scrapes through against injured opponent

Poland's Agnieszka Radawanska plays a forehand during her second round match against Croatia's Ana Konjuh

IMAGE: Poland's Agnieszka Radawanska plays a forehand during her second round match against Croatia's Ana Konjuh. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Agnieszka Radwanska avoided becoming the second of the top three women's seeds to lose at Wimbledon on Thursday, beating Croatia's Ana Konjuh 6-2, 4-6, 9-7 after her opponent took a tumble and needed treatment in the penultimate game.

Konjuh, ranked 103rd in the world, had three match points herself but, with the contest poised at 7-7 and 40-15 on Radwanska's serve, the Croat stepped on a ball she was chasing and rolled her right ankle, collapsing at the chairs in tears.

Konjuh played on, heavily strapped, but with her movement limited, the third-seeded Pole held her nerve to claim the victory after being booed by a section of the crowd for playing a drop shot to bring up her second match point.

Croatia's Ana Konjuh receives treatment on her ankle during her second round match against Poland's Agnieszka Radawanska

IMAGE: Croatia's Ana Konjuh receives treatment on her ankle during her second round match against Poland's Agnieszka Radawanska. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Radwanska knew she had been in a battle against her 23-year-old opponent, and hoped it would steel her for the longer fight.

"Players who won the grand slam, they always have something like this on the way," she told reporters.

"Sometimes it's a little bit easier to play after you know that you probably shouldn't even be here any more."

Dimitrov emerges from slump to knock out Simon

Grigor Dimitrov

IMAGE: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in action. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Grigor Dimitrov announced his return to form, putting out 16th seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4 with an exhibition of power, speed and deft touch in the second round.

The 25-year-old Bulgarian has suffered a slump since he reached a career-high ranking of nine in 2014, the year he beat defending champion Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

But now ranked 37th, his opponents knew that he was the dangerous floater in the draw and so it proved for Simon, who has a fine record on grass, having beaten Dimitrov in their last two matches on the surface. He led the Bulgarian 5-1 head-to head going into the match.

It was not all plain sailing for the inconsistent Dimitrov, who after allowing Simon only one point in the second-set tiebreak struggled again to keep his mind on the match.

"I lost my focus a little bit," he said. "All of a sudden I got drawn into his rhythm... he's a pretty mellow fellow...

"I'm just glad I got it back."

Dimitrov was dubbed "Baby Fed" when he came on to the circuit because of his all-round skill and easy-on-the-eye athleticism.

After losing the third set and going a break down in the fourth, however, it took him until the eighth game to regain the steely mindset enjoyed by seven-times champion Roger Federer.

Ramping up the pressure and finding that extra measure of creativity, he broke Simon's served twice in a row to win the match that had started on Wednesday evening.

He meets Steve Johnson of the United States in the third round.

Venus keeps her wits about her to down Greek upstart

Venus Williams

IMAGE: Venus Williams in action. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A time violation warning, a few spots of rain and the thunderous groundstrokes of her rival could not throw Venus Williams off her long-limbed stride as she reached the Wimbledon third round with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari.

Playing an opponent who was not even aged five when she won the first of her seven Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2000, the 36-year-old Williams proved that it would take more than sheer determination to topple the American at her favourite tournament.

After two days of rain created a scheduling headache for the organisers, the five-times Wimbledon champion found herself cast adrift on Court 18 -- an arena once labelled "a parking lot" by former world number one Jelena Jankovic.

With only 782 seats available for punters, there was a constant tailback of spectators jostling for space in the narrow gangways as they stood eager to catch a glimpse of the oldest player in the women's draw.

The American eighth seed drew plenty of applause when she won the first set despite dropping serve in the seventh game after incurring a time violation warning for switching rackets between points.

Wimbledon debutante Sakkari, who grew up idolising Williams's younger sister Serena, also drew shouts of "Bravo Maria" as her powerful groundstrokes started to hit their targets with more consistency.

However, Venus, who will contest her 300th grand slam match if she reaches round four, was in no mood to be upstaged by a 20-year-old.

Apart from defeat by unranked Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, Williams had not lost to a player ranked outside the world's top 100 at a Grand Slam this century.

While world number 115 Sakkari's hopes of ending that run gathered momentum when she broke Williams three times to bag the second set, Williams rediscovered her touch in the third set to book a last-32 meeting with Russian Daria Kasatkina.

Raonic's rocket helps him past Seppi

Milos Raonic

IMAGE: Milos Raonic of Canada serves. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Milos Raonic equalled the fastest serve seen at Wimbledon this year as the Canadian sixth seed blasted past Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round.

Raonic, under the watchful gaze of three-times champion John McEnroe during the grasscourt season, tripped the speed gun at 142mph, equalling the delivery served down by Australian Sam Groth in round one.

The fastest serve ever recorded at the All England Club was hit at 148mph by American Taylor Dent six years ago.

Raonic will take on American Jack Sock next.

Quick-fire Halep sees off Schiavone

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Simona Halep of Romania plays a backhand. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A clinical Simona Halep wasted no time in reaching the third round at Wimbledon, cruising past Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-1 in just over an hour.

Showing glimpses of the form that took her to an All England Club semi-final in 2014 and to world number two last year, the fifth-seeded Romanian had too much power and court craft for her 111th-ranked opponent.

Halep controlled much of the play with pinpoint groundstrokes, dominating the baseline rallies and often finding winning passing shots when her 36-year-old opponent varied her game by coming to the net.

Troubled in recent months by an Achilles injury that forced her withdrawal from the Birmingham event in mid-June, Halep was playing only her second grasscourt match of the season.

Her record at Wimbledon remains mixed. With the exception of 2014, she has previously got no further than the second round in four attempts.

Halep next faces 26th-ranked Kiki Bertens, who this month became the first Dutchwoman in almost half a century to reach the French Open semi-finals.

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