Wednesday saw two more top 10 seeds surprisingly eliminated from the first round of Wimbledon. No. 5 seed Bianca Andreescu was defeated in straight sets in her Round 1 match against unseeded qualifier Alize Cornet, and No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic also lost in straight sets to an unseeded player, Kaja Juvan.
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.
never mind I think she was quickly reminded it's grass. #Andreescu#Wimbledonpic.twitter.com/rEOpzHBzIc
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) June 30, 2021
"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.
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. 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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