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Defending Wimbledon champion Vondrousova knocked out in first round

Marketa Vondrousova suffered a surprising defeat on Tuesday at Wimbledon, becoming the first defending women’s champion in 30 years to be eliminated in the first round. The 21-year-old Spaniard, Jessica Bouzas Maneiro, ranked 83rd in the world, secured a notable 6-4, 6-2 victory over the sixth-ranked Czech player, who had claimed the Wimbledon title as an unseeded player just last year.

This upset marks the first time since 1994, when German legend Steffi Graf lost in the opening round, that a defending champion has been defeated so early in the tournament.

Bouzas Maneiro, who had never before beaten a top-40 player and had only played one other grass-court match this year—a first-round loss in a minor event in Italy—expressed her joy and disbelief at her victory. “I think this is one of the most important moments in my life and career,” she remarked. “Facing one of the best players in the world, I felt no pressure and could enjoy playing freely.”

She attributed her comfort on court to the supportive atmosphere, describing it as feeling like home. Looking ahead, Bouzas Maneiro now prepares to challenge either Ana Bogdan of Romania or her Spanish compatriot Cristina Bucsa for a spot in the round of 32.

Vondrousova had arrived at Wimbledon with concerns over her fitness after injuring her right hip in a fall during the Berlin grass-court tournament the previous month.

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