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Champ Muguruza, Cilic fall in London

LONDON (AFP) – Defending champion Garbine Muguruza was sensationally knocked out of Wimbledon by journeywoman Alison van Uytvanck on Thursday, leaving just one of the top six seeds left after only two rounds.

Belgian 47th-ranked Van Uytvanck triumphed, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, for her first-ever win over a top 10 opponent.

Muguruza’s defeat leaves just top seed Simona Halep, number seven Karolina Pliskova and 10th seed Madison Keys as the remaining top-ranked contenders after two rounds.

In the men’s event, third seed and last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic was knocked out by Argentina’s Guido Pella.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev was teetering on the brink of defeat when he trailed Taylor Fritz of the United States by two sets to one when their second round tie was suspended for the night.

Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal overcame two time warnings and Novak Djokovic shrugged off a knee problem to battle into the third round.

“I knew that if I let her play, I would lose so I thought, let’s go for it,” said 24-year-old Van Uytvanck, who has made the third round for the first time.

World number one Nadal defeated Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, and will next face Australian teenager Alex de Minaur.

Djokovic, the three-time champion, needed treatment on his left knee on Court Two but still had too much for Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-3.

Djokovic has now made the third round for 10 consecutive years and will face British 21st seed Kyle Edmund.

Cilic blew a two-set lead in his 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 loss to Argentina’s Guido Pella, ranked at 82.

When rain forced the tie to be postponed on Wednesday, Cilic was leading by two sets against an opponent who had never won a match at Wimbledon before this year.

But the Croatian collapsed once the match resumed on Court One on Thursday and Pella took full advantage to set up a third round clash with Mackenzie McDonald of the United States.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, had been expected to mount a strong challenge for the Wimbledon title after winning the grass-court warm-up at Queen’s Club two weeks ago.

But his defeat is good news for defending champion Roger Federer, who was on course to face Cilic in the semi-finals.

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