The odd years seemed to be the medicine of Garbiñe Muguruza in Wimbledon. Final in 2015 and triumph in 2017. The inertia for 2019 did not seem the best, but a defeat in the premiere against the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia was anything but expected.
The clear 6-4 and 6-4 that reflected the score of track 3 at the end of the match marked one of the biggest bumps of the Spanish in the All England Club.
He did not lose in the first round of the third Grand Slam of the season since 2014 and, although he suffered a setback last year when he could not defend his crown and fall in the second round, Muguruza seemed to have a good chance to redirect the season on grass.
The world number 27 – its lowest ranking since 2014 – came to Wimbledon with no previous experience on grass. He did not compete in any tournament before the Wimbledon contest, but that did not stop him from starting brilliantly and he put a 2-0 on the scoreboard that anticipated a repeat of the duel between the two in 2017, when, on the cement of Cincinnati, Muguruza only gave two games.
Haddad Maia, meanwhile, landed at Wimbledon after spending the previous and with a few weeks on grass in which he had managed to tip a semifinalist in the SW19 as Magdalena Rybarikova.
The Brazilian did not seem the strongest obstacle for the first round, but he managed to cut the immaculate start of the Spanish, draw two and, after solving another possible break of Muguruza, put the 4-3 on the scoreboard.
The South American had changed the course of the encounter and began to show signs of being able to dispute. When he raised the 5-4 to his favor, he passed all the pressure to a Muguruza, whose temper cooled with the same speed that the clouds covered the London sky.
She got nervous, gave a double fault to precipitate the first set point against and a right to the net confirmed the loss of the first set.
It was then up to him to achieve something he did not get from the round of 2017, when he lifted a partial against Angelique Kerber.
The bad news for their interests is that Haddad Maia began to serve what put her nerves back in the body to the Spanish, who knew that any failure would be punished with defeat.
The danger came with the 4-3 against, when it exceeded a 0-40 against that practically left him on the canvas.
But that was not reason for optimism either, Haddad Maia left the Spanish nailed with the crossed back and took away the optimism with another held out kick that returned the contest to the first set, when Muguruza had to take out to survive and sank.
The cliff to which the Brazilian pushed the Spanish was a few meters away and every step from the bench to the position of taking 5-4, his margin narrowed. Muguruza made two faults in the last game, including the one that gave the victory to Haddad Maia and closed the first change his participation in Wimbledon.
A defeat that will not have many consequences in the classification, since it only defended the second round of last year, but that moves the Spanish to recover the season.
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