Wednesday saw three top-10 seeds surprisingly eliminated from Wimbledon. No. 4 Sofia Kenin, the highest-seeded American in the tournament, lost her Round 2 match against unseeded American Madison Brengle.
Round 1 also finished on Wednesday after several matches were postponed due to inclement weather. No. 5 seed Bianca Andreescu was defeated in straight sets against unseeded qualifier Alize Cornet, and No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic also lost in straight sets to an unseeded player, Kaja Juvan.
Sofia Kenin shockingly eliminated
In her second tournament since parting ways with her father, who had coached her for her entire career, Kenin lost 6-2, 6-4 to Brengle, ranked No. 82 in the world. It was a sloppy game for Kenin, who struggled mightily with her serve. She had problems keeping the ball between the lines and served up a staggering 41 unforced errors. Brengle is already known as a giant killer, having previously defeated three top-10 seeds, but she hadn't done it in over four years. Kenin made it easy for Brengle to end that drought and defeat her fourth top-10 seed.
It took Brengle just 45 minutes to defeat Kenin in straight sets, the latest lackluster result in what is turning out to be a very disappointing year for her. After winning the 2020 Australian Open and posting great finishes across the board in pandemic-affected 2020, her title defense at the Australian Open ended in the second round. She lost to No. 15-seeded Maria Sakkari in the fourth round of the French Open, and now she's out in the second round of Wimbledon.
Bianca Andreescu doomed by slippery grass
The slippery glass has been an issue throughout Wimbledon, and it played a role in Andreescu's 6-2, 6-1 loss to Cornet in Round 1.
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"I didn't slip just once. I slipped like six times," Andreescu said via ESPN. "The courts are super slippery. I have only played here once before, but they weren't like this at all. I spoke to a couple other players, and they said it's not that normal. But this is something we can't really control."
It wasn't just the grass, though. Andreescu committed a staggering 34 unforced errors to Cornet's seven. Cornet also got a good, long look at Andreescu's game at the Berlin Championships two weeks ago, when she defeated Andreescu in the finals.
It's been a rough few years for Andreescu. Since her underdog win at the 2019 U.S. Open, she hasn't made it past the second round at any Grand Slam. She didn't play in any Grand Slams in 2020 first due to a knee injury, and then because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She told the media last week that the months she was off due to the pandemic were difficult for her; there were health issues within her family and she wasn't able to train regularly. She was finally ready to get going again at the Australian Open in January, but first had to endure a quarantine. Then in April, she was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open after testing positive for COVID-19.
Belinda Bencic loses to No. 102 in the world
Bencic, ranked No. 11 in the world, lost 6-3, 6-3 to the relatively unknown Slovenian player Kaja Juvan. Juvan is ranked No. 102 by the WTA, and the straight-sets defeat took just 79 minutes.
Unforced errors plagued Bencic in her Round 1 match. She committed 28, and was just 2-for-7 on break points. She was unable to match Juvan's strong forehand and had issues with her serve, committing six double faults.
Bencic, who made headlines last month for implying that Naomi Osaka's mental health withdrawal from Roland-Garros was only to remain in "the talk," or the public consciousness, has seen diminishing returns since her career-best finish at the U.S. Open semifinals in 2019. Her best finish of 2021 was at the Australian Open, where she was eliminated in Round 3. She lost in Round 2 at the French Open, and now in Round 1 at Wimbledon.
Four total women's top-10 seeds have fallen over the first three days of Wimbledon, tying the 2018 record for the most losses by top-10 women's seeds in the first round during the Open era. No. 10 seed Petra Kvitova was eliminated in straight sets on Monday by the resurgent Sloane Stephens. Then on Tuesday, No. 6 seed Serena Williams had to withdraw due to injury in the middle of her Round 1 match.
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