Defending champion Vondrousova falls at first Wimbledon hurdle


Defending champion Marketa Vondrousova was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon on Tuesday, the first female holder to fall at the opening hurdle since Steffi Graf 30 years ago.

Czech Vondrousova, who became the first unseeded woman to lift the title last year, earned a far less welcome accolade after a 6-4 6-2 defeat by Spain's Jessica Bouzas Maneiro.

Ranked world number 83, Bouzas Maneiro had won only one tour-level match all year heading into Wimbledon, but secured her first win across all Grand Slams when she slapped a backhand down the line.

"It is one of the most important moments of my life," the Spaniard smiled as she soaked up the cheers. "I'm just... I'm surprised with myself to be honest.

"The atmosphere was so nice, so... elegant... it feels like I was at home, I don't know why," she added, explaining her lack of nerves on one of the sport's greatest stages.

The 21-year-old from Galicia hit the ball cleanly throughout an unremarkable Centre Court clash, but only really needed to keep it in play as errors flew from champion Vondrousova's racket with alarming regularity.

Struggling with a hip injury which derailed her preparation, sixth-seeded Vondrousova now heads for the exit while Bouzas Maneiro will next face compatriot Cristina Bucsa or Romanian Ana Bogdan in the second round.

Elsewhere, former champion Elena Rybakina swept aside Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-1, while men's seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz rallied from a set down to beat Radu Albot of Moldova 5-7 6-4 6-3 6-4.

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