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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Garbine Muguruza refuses to blame Court Two location for her shock Wimbledon exit

Women's defending champion beaten in second round by Alison Van Uytvanck

Garbine Muguruza's hopes of defending her Wimbledon title are over. Ben Curtis / AP Photo
Garbine Muguruza's hopes of defending her Wimbledon title are over. Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Garbine Muguruza refused to blame being placed on Court Two at Wimbledon for her shock second-round exit to Alison Van Uytvanck.

The defending champion's hopes of a third major title ended as she was shocked 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 by the world No 47 from Belgium.

Being scheduled last on Court Two left the Spaniard perhaps vulnerable to a surprise, after a long day of waiting to play.

A defending champion away from either Centre Court or Court One is rare and Muguruza was diplomatic.

"I was ready to play and that is it, nothing to say," she said. "There is nothing I can do, that is what they decided, I have to follow the schedule.

"Of course I wanted to play on the bigger court, it's always my preference but to say something now makes no sense.

"I played my match, the players who are playing on Centre Court deserve it."

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On her opponent's performance she added: "She played big today, she took a lot of risks and it worked for her. I also think my level today wasn't where I wanted it to be."

A strangely out of sorts Muguruza failed to cope with Van Uytvanck's tremendous hitting, leaving the 24-year-old winner to admit she would now love nothing more than to reach Wimbledon's second week for the first time.

"Inside I was dying, especially serving out for the match," said Van Uytvanck, who will now meet 28th seed Anett Kontaveit in the third round.

"Before it was actually quite OK. I mean, obviously you're nervous when you enter the court and you have to start the match. You always want that first game, you know.

"But after that, I was feeling quite good. Confidence was there. I'm playing well the last couple of days, so that's what I took with me on the court.

"In sets two and three I was just there mentally. I was in the zone and just hitting every ball, and it was going my way."

Spaniard Muguruza has become the sixth top-10 seed to lose in the opening two rounds of this year's women's singles.

Van Uytvanck has only ever progressed beyond the second round at a major tournament once before, and admitted she cannot wait to try to push into uncharted territory.

"I would love to be in the second week for the first time for me in Wimbledon," she added. "It would be great, and I will prepare everything to make it possible."