The draw for the Ladies Singles’ title at Wimbledon was left wide open today after Karolina Pliskova, the third seed and favorite for the title, was stunned in the second round by Magdalena Rybarikova.
Rybarikova, who had a good grass court season leading up to the tournament, has had several injury problems throughout the past year and was only the draw due to a protected ranking, played a superb match throughout as she came from a set and a break down to prevail 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court.
The defeat is certainly a huge blow for Pliskova, who has never made it past the second round at Wimbledon and had a huge opportunity for a maiden Grand Slam title. Rybarikova is through to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in her career and faces Lesia Tsurenko next.
Rybarikova rallies to stun Pliskova and record famous victory
With Petra Kvitova’s loss to Madison Brengle yesterday evening, Pliskova arguably headed into this match as the huge favorite for the title and started well with a comfortable hold, though missed four break points which would have seen her take a quick lead against the talented Slovak. Rybarikova, like her opponent, had an extremely impressive grass build up and the good form of the two showed as both began to look extremely comfortable on serve through the opening six games of the encounter.
The standard of tennis between the two continued to be high, though it was Pliskova who raised her game to take the opening set. After an albeit lucky net cord, a dominant return, which Rybarikova could do nothing with, saw the Czech secure the opening break of the match. Pliskova had been supreme on serve up to this point, and that did not change, with some huge ball striking seeing her hold to love and take the opening set 6-3.
After a high quality first set by both women, the early stages of the second set continued in the same path, with both Rybarikova and Pliskova impressing with some big hitting out on Centre Court as the two held serve comfortably in the early stages. However, it was once again Pliskova who seemingly took control, applying heavy pressure to the Slovak’s serve and breaking for a 4-3 lead.
However, this time Rybarikova was able to recover from losing who serve and immediately broke back to level up proceedings. The Slovak remained solid after that, looking comfortable on serve as she continued to pile pressure on the Czech. That pressure told, with Pliskova faltering once again as she served to stay in the set for a second time, with Rybarikova breaking to force a decider.
There was no doubt that Rybarikova, who had played so well all match, deserved to take the third seed to the decider and she showed no signs of letting up her high level, putting herself just three games away from a momentous victory as she broke for a 3-1 lead, though it seemed that Pliskova had regained her composure as she immediately broke back.
However, that was the last charge from the Czech. After playing well throughout, the third seed was beginning to look rattled and dropped serve once again to fall a break down. Buoyed by the return of her lead, Rybarikova held to put herself just a game a victory, and a final push saw the Slovak break once again to upset the odds and stun the favorite for the title.