Wimbledon 2019

Kerber stunned by lucky loser

Defending champ crashes out to American Davis; world No. 1 Barty reaches third round

LONDON • Angelique Kerber's defence of her Wimbledon singles title came to an early end yesterday after being knocked out in the second round by lucky loser Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The 31-year-old German, who came into the tournament in form having reached the final at Eastbourne, made her earliest exit since losing in the same round in 2013.

Davis, a former top-30 player who is now No. 95, came from behind to shock Kerber in 1hr 54min to reach the third round for just the second time. The 25-year-old American will next play No. 30 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who defeated France's Pauline Parmentier 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4).

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty had to keep running on court yesterday to ensure that her bid to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year remained on track.

The 23-year-old beat Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-3 in the second round to extend her Grand Slam winning streak to nine matches, having won her first major title at Roland Garros last month. She will play British wild card Harriet Dart tomorrow for a place in the last 16.

"I had to have my running shoes on," Barty said after the 55-minute match.

"I had to make a lot of returns first and foremost and then try and nullify her variety a little bit.

"It was a really clean match overall, not too many errors."


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    2nd rd Sam Querrey (USA) bt Andrey Rublev (Rus) 6-3 6-2 6-3, Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz) bt John Isner (USA) 6-4 6-7(3-7) 4-6 6-1 6-4, Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Cameron Norrie (Gbr) 6-4 6-4 6-0, Joao Sousa (Por) bt Marin Cilic (Cro) 6-4 6-4 6-4, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Jo Ricardas Berankis (Ltu) 7-6(7-4) 6-3 6-3, Roger Federer bt Jay Clarke (Gbr) 6-1 7-6(7-3) 6-2.


    2nd rd Wang Qiang (Chn) bt Tamara Zidansek (Slo) 6-1 6-2, Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Wang Yafan (Chn) 6-0 6-2, Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) 7-5 6-2, Johanna Konta (Gbr) bt Katerina Siniakova (Cze) 6-3 6-4, Kiki Bertens (Ned) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 3-6 7-6(7-5) 6-2, Lauren Davis (USA) bt Angelique Kerber (Ger) 2-6 6-2 6-1.

She will switch off from tennis for the moment.

"I'm sure there's some cricket on or something," said Barty, who took a sabbatical playing club cricket in 2015, in reference to the ongoing World Cup in England, where her country Australia have reached the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old schoolgirl who stunned five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round, eased into the last 32 by defeating 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 .

Besides being the youngest qualifier to reach the Wimbledon women's singles main draw and the youngest to win a round since 1991, she is also the youngest to make the third round since another American Jennifer Capriati went all the way to the semi-finals in 1991.

"I think I can beat anyone. If I don't think I can win the match, then I won't even step on the court," world No. 313 Gauff said.

Off the court, Australia's Bernard Tomic, 26, was fined £45,000 (S$76,755), his first-round loser's prize money, for not playing up to the required standards in his 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, organisers said yesterday.

Fans looked bemused as the world No. 96 lost Tuesday's match in just 58 minutes, a performance described as "appalling" and "embarrassing" on social media.



Day 5: Singtel TV Ch114/116 & StarHub Ch208/210, 6pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2019, with the headline 'Kerber stunned by lucky loser'. Print Edition | Subscribe