French Open champion Garbine Muguruza loses in Mallorca opener
The post-Slam winning matches are the hardest period for any first-time Major winner. Pressure and mounting expectations create an undesirable burden and most tend to crumble under its weight.
Earlier this year, we have seen how Angelique Kerber struggled to get used to the limelight and stardom after clinching the Australian Open title. Today, Garbine Muguruza had her biggest challenge at the $250, 000 Mallorca Open after claiming the French Open crown just 10 days back.
It was a change of surface from clay to grass but that shouldn’t have been a problem for someone who made it as far as the Wimbledon final last year. The Spaniard’s pacy game and attacking style suit the surface very well.
Rather, it was the burgeoning pressure of performing at home as a Grand Slam champion that took a toll on the 22-year-old, who, just days ago, put a masterful performance against the World No. 1 Serena Williams in the French Open final.
The top-seeded Muguruza succumbed to it, losing 3-6, 4-6 to 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens.
Her serve deserted her as she made only 61% of first serves and was broken thrice in this 72-minute encounter.
Bouchard and Lisicki progress
Two other Wimbledon runners-up had much better results on Tuesday. Eighth seed Eugenie Bouchard posted a 6-3, 7-5 win over the 21-year-old Danca Kovinic. Sabine Lisicki, who normally thrives on grass, too rebounded from her struggles to emerge a 6-4, 6-4 winner over the fourth seed and Den Bosch runner-up Kristina Mladenovic.
Kvitova cruises in Birmingham opener
Meanwhile, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova made a serene progress at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham which has a packed field. The fifth seed thrashed her compatriot Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-2 while in another all-Czech clash, Barbora Strycova edged past the Nottingham titlist Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 7-6(7).