Wimbledon 2024: Defending champion Vondrousova suffers shock first-round exit

Wimbledon 2024: Defending champion Vondrousova suffers shock first-round exit

Czech tennis player Marketa Vondrousova's Wimbledon title defence came to an early end as she fell to a surprise first-round defeat to Spain's Jessica Bouzas Maneiro in the women's singles event.


The Czech became the first unseeded player to win the women's singles trophy last year when she triumphed against Ons Jabeur in the final.

But Vondrousova's game was riddled with unforced errors and double faults as the 25-year-old opened proceedings with a lacklustre performance on Centre Court.

World number 83 Bouzas Maneiro, 21, took advantage on Tuesday to win 6-4 6-2 for her first Grand Slam victory.

It is the first time since 1994, when Steffi Graf lost to Lori McNeil, that the women's defending champion has lost in the first round at Wimbledon.

"I am really happy, I think this is one of the most important moments in my life, in my career," said Bouzas Maneiro.

"This is the most beautiful tournament I have played in my life so thank you to everyone who came to watch the match today."

Vondrousova's early exit means there will be a different women's singles champion for a seventh consecutive year.

Serena Williams was the last player to successfully defend the Venus Rosewater Dish, winning back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016.

'It felt like playing at home'
Vondrousova came into the tournament on the back of an injury scare after a nasty fall forced her to retire early with a hip concern following her second-round match at the Berlin Open.

The sixth seed appeared to be feeling the after-effects of the problem, moving with difficulty.

Bouzas Maneiro capitalised on Vondrousova's physical struggles, breaking early in each of the first and second sets before firing a sublime backhand winner down the line on her first match point.

"I was just trying to enjoy the moment," said the Spaniard. "She is one of the best players in the world here, she won last year so I was like, I have no pressure, enjoy the moment, enjoy the tournament.

"I'm surprised with myself, honestly. I was at the beginning a little bit nervous, but since the first game, I don't know, the atmosphere was so nice, so elegant.

"I was comfortable playing here, it felt like I was playing at home."

Bouzas Maneiro will play compatriot Cristina Bucsa or Ana Bogdan of Romania in the second round.

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