Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Bugs, ‘lucky’ foe send No. 2 seed Wozniacki out of Wimbledon

Caroline Wozniacki is out Caroline Wozniacki is out
Cassandra Gardner | 08 July, 2018, 10:18

If she is able to right the ship and play deep into the draw in NY, the major where she's had the most success, or defend her title in Australia, Wednesday's loss might be remembered more for its quirks - the first Wimbledon rains, an infestation of flying ants and extra-long bathroom breaks - than for Wozniacki's defeat.

There was no danger of a repeat performance against Slovakia's Lacko, however, and a forehand swish on match point gave the top seed a 26th consecutive set at the grasscourt major. And all the upsets around her boost her chances of capturing an eighth Wimbledon crown. But she was coming off a title run on grass at Eastbourne last week and looked set to progress to the quarters at the only Major she hadn't so far, starting with a 6-0, 6-3 first-round win over Varvara Lepchenko.

Prior to that, there was drama as Wozniacki questioned the condition of the court amid a light drizzle and tried to evade flying ants. She insisted that something needed to be done about them.

Nonetheless, the world number two recovered from the slow start and got on board with a confident service hold, before earning a break point with the help of unforced errors by Makarova.

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This Caroline, who casts her eyes downward as she attempts to publicly reconcile how another Wimbledon went so wrong, stands in stark contrast to the polished player of an hour ago.

The 38-year-old, who dropped the opening set in the first round against Johanna Larsson, was broken in the first game of her second-round match by Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru. However, all four games were won by Wozniacki as she was calmer and composed on the important points, powering to a commanding 4-0 lead within a blink of an eye. Every point to keep Wozniacki alive was high level of tension for the 27-year-old. I love winning everywhere.

A huge double fault by Makarova came at the worst time forcing deuce but scoring a victor down the line for a fourth match point attempt. She's still trying to work through how it all happened. The pressure was too great as Wozniacki got the advantage point on a second double fault making it a one-game margin in the decider. The Russian learnt from her previous experiences and ultimately sealed the match on a volley victor after 129 minutes of high-quality play. Russia's Ekaterina Makarova plays a shot during her second round match against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. The ants, it would turn out, would not be her biggest problem. The Russian displayed her grit, climbing out of holes with remarkable agility and keeping calm despite nearly choking in face of an all-guns-blazing Wozniacki.

Serena, granted a seeding of 25 this year after maternity leave saw her slip down the rankings, commented afterwards: "It was better than my first round so I'm happy I'm going in the right direction".

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