Elina Svitolina became the latest casualty among the women’s seeds at Wimbledon on Thursday, stunned by Poland’s Magda Linette in straight sets, and she was joined at the exit gate by Maria Sakkari, who failed to make up the overnight deficit against Shelby Rogers.
So far I feel extremely happy. It's always hard to switch from clay to grass. You know, I had such a huge run in Paris, and then after I didn't really have much time to actually prepare, so came here with no expectations. So far I'm really happy that I'm in the third round and I'm going to play another match. It's amazing. Barbora Krejcikova
Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova and finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, however, both made safe passage to the third round with wins over Andrea Petkovic and Kristyna Pliskova respectively.
Third seed Svitolina, 26, who lost to eventual champion Simona Halep in the semi-finals two years ago, was beaten 6-3 6-4 in her second-round match and the defeat comes after 4th and 5th seeds Sofia Kenin and Bianca Andreescu exited The Championships on Wednesday.
Also gone is Swiss 9th seed Belinda Bencic while 7-time winner Serena Williams withdrew through injury, while defending champion Halep and World No 2 Naomi Osaka were both absent from the draw.
It leaves World No 1Ash Barty, 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek as the only remaining top-10 ranked players at the grass court Grand Slam, midway through the second-round matches.
It was the first time that Linette managed to get past Svitolina in two previous meetings but she notched up the biggest upset of The Championships so far, winning 6-3 6-3 over the Ukrainian.
Playing on Court No 2, the World No 44 swept to victory over the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finalist in an hour 4 minutes to move into the third round.
“I think she was taking everything in her hands, and I was a bit passive,” Svitolina said in her post-match press conference. “You know, she played really clean today and really was striking the ball unbelievable. Made a lot of winners.
“Me, I was not, yeah, I was not taking my opportunities. You know, it was really tough for me to get back the incentive in the rallies and to really try to dominate.
“I was making maybe few more errors than I wanted, and in the end, you know, it’s grass so everything goes quite quick.
“You know, she played unbelievable, to be fair, today.”
The Ukrainian was 4-1 down in 16 lightning fast minutes and she looked as shocked as everyone else as she lost the first set 6-3 in half an hour.
There was a lot of talking to herself but insufficient improvement as Svitolina lost the second set 6-4.
Linette had never defeated a Top 10 player in a completed match before, although she did advance past Barty in their second-round match at Roland Garros last month, after the Australian retired due to injury midway through the first set.
This time, though, she was in command against Svitolina from start to finish, hitting 28 winners to the Ukrainian’s 8, and winning nearly 80 percent of points off of her opponent’s second service.
Spain’s Paula Badosa awaits Linette, while Svitolina is now free to watch her compatriots take on England in Saturday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final.
French Open quarter-finalist Badosa, 23, beat Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, 6-4 6-1, earlier on Day 4.
Getting action under way at 11am were the last two players left standing at Roland Garros, champion Barbora Krejcikova and finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who continued their exceptional form at Wimbledon with straight-set 2nd-round wins.
Krejcikova, the No 14 seed from the Czech Republic, scored her 14th straight win by outlasting Petkovic, a former Top 10 player from Germany, 7-5 6-4.
Petkovic was making her 10th appearance in a Wimbledon main draw, but her experience was pipped at the end of both sets by Krejcikova, who, despite being a Grand Slam champion and a Top 20 seed, is contesting her first Wimbledon main draw.
“So far I feel extremely happy,” Krejcikova said, during her post-match press conference. “It’s always hard to switch from clay to grass.
“You know, I had such a huge run in Paris, and then after I didn’t really have much time to actually prepare, so came here with no expectations.
“So far I’m really happy that I’m in the third round and I’m going to play another match. It’s amazing.”
Krejickova needed an hour and 20 minutes to claim the victory, where her 24 winners doubled Petkovic’s total, and she was also successful on 4 of her 5 break points.
Petkovic, however, pushed her in both sets, fighting back from a break down in each, but Krejcikova picked up a service break in the penultimate game on both occasions to take control, then gritted through tough service games to first clinch the opening frame, and then the win.
“I think this match was really up and down,” Krejcikova said. “I think it was really tight. Andrea, she’s very experienced and I think her game actually suits the grass. I mean, I just knew it’s going to be difficult.
“I always think that just breaking the opponent’s serve, it’s always a little bit more of advantage. So I would say really breaking the serve and getting the lead is the most important.”
Russia’s No16 seed Pavlyuchenkova eased past Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-3 6-3, to claim a spot in the third round of Wimbledon for the 4th time.
She was a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2016, but had suffered first-round losses in her 3 showings since then, between 2017 and 2019.
Pavlyuchenkova continued her fine run since Paris, dispatching Pliskova in just over an hour, striking 23 winners to 17 for the Czech, while also hitting 5 fewer unforced errors.
Pavlyuchenkova will face another Czech in the third round in No 19 seed Karolina Muchova, who overcame Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-3 5-7 6-3.
In a battle of former Wimbledon quarter-finalists, Muchova took 2 hours 18 minutes to quash the challenge Giorgi.
Meanwhile, there was a further shock in the women’s second round as Greece’s 15th seed Maria Sakkari, a semi-finalist at the French Open just a few weeks ago, lost in straight sets to America’s Shelby Rogers on Court No 5, 7-5 6-4, in a match that was suspended due to darkness on Wednesday after the first set.
Rogers, the World No 46, who reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon for the second time, and the first since 2017, will now face 18th seed Elena Rybakina, of Kazakhstan, in the last 32.