I’m not terribly surprised to see Garbine Muguruza fade listlessly away from Wimbledon 2016 early. I just thought it might be in round one against Camila Giorgi. Instead, the #2 seed and reigning Roland Garros women’s singles champion was emphatically shown the door in the second round by Jana Cepelova, 6-3 6-2. Honestly, it didn’t even feel that close. Mugu just seemed to lack any energy to fight on this day. But I don’t hold this against Garbi too much. Sometimes players win their first Major and kind of go into a funk where they can’t find their way for a while. Maybe all the hoopla and celebration after the breakthrough takes something out of them and they suffer a letdown. I remember when Li Na won her first Major, also at Roland Garros, and couldn’t seem to beat anybody for a few months. She shook herself out of it and so will Muguruza, who is 1-2 since Roland Garros, having also lost in the first round at Mallorca. Don’t worry about the gifted Spanish player. This is but a temporary malaise.
Moving on in impressive fashion were two young guns, Eugenie Bouchard and Madison Keys. What was impressive wasn’t that they stepped on court and easily blew through overmatched opponents. They did not. Each faced a decisive loss of the second set that forced them to dig deeply to pull out a win. Genie had to battle the home country crowd on Centre Court pulling for 16th seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain. Bouchard bounced back from getting drubbed in the second set 1-6 to win going away, 6-3 1-6 6-1. Maddie overcame a Kirsten Flipkens who seemed determined not to give the 9th seeded American any free points from the second set on, 6-4 4-6 6-3. Both Maddie and Genie go from the frying pan into the fire the next round. Maddie gets Alize Cornet. On paper, Keys is the heavy favorite. But don’t forget that Cornet has beaten Serena Williams multiple times, including at Wimbledon. She will have no fear of Madison Keys. The young American will need to play a smart, strong match to prevail. Genie gets a date with giant killer and 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova, a former Australian Open runner-up. I can’t wait to see both of those matches.
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2 GARBINE MUGURUZA lost to Jana Cepelova, 6-3 6-2
EUGENIE BOUCHARD d. 16 Johanna Konta, 6-3 1-6 6-1
9 MADISON KEYS d. Kirsten Flipkens, 6-4 4-6 6-3