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'You have to accept it', Angelique Kerber philosophical after shock Wimbledon exit

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 5 Jul 2019
  • Angelique Kerber suffered a shock second-round exit at Wimbledon on Thursday, losing 2-6 6-2 6-1 to American, Lauren Davis
  • Kerber's earliest exit at Wimbledon since 2013
Angelique Kerber. (PA Sport)

Defending champion, Angelique Kerber became the biggest casualty in the women’s draw at Wimbledon 2019 following a 2-6 6-2 6-1 defeat to American lucky loser, Lauren Davis on Thursday.

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Kerber had arrived Wimbledon in fine grass-court form, reaching the semi-finals in Mallorca, and the final in Eastbourne to emerge as one of the pre-tournament favourites for the title, but she departs Wimbledon after just two matches- her earliest exit from the tournament since 2013.

Defeat at Wimbledon extends Kerber’s title drought to 12 months, as she continues to be without a title since her victorious campaign at the All England Club in 2018.

"Of course I'm disappointed," said Kerber. "Of course, it's not the way I would like to finish here or to play here. But you have sometimes days like that. You have to accept it. You have to learn from it, trying to forget this as soon as possible."

Kerber and Davis struggled from the service line at the start of the match, as neither player held serve through the first four games, but it was Kerber who pulled away from 2-2, winning four straight games to take the opening set. Roles were reversed in the second set as Davis stepped up from an early flurry of breaks to pull away with the set and force a decider.

The American carried on from where she left off in the decider, rattling through the final six games to complete a fine win over the world No. 5, her third against a player ranked inside the top-ten.
Apart from that brief period in the latter half of the first set, when Kerber won four games in a row, the three-time major winner was second best, as she struggled to find any foothold in the match. Her serve was extremely vulnerable, as she won less than 50% of points on both her first and second deliveries, while she was uncharacteristically profligate off the ground, donating 31 unforced errors to her opponent’s cause. She hit only 13 winners. Davis, on the other hand, blended her athleticism with aggression, blasting away 45 winners past the German’s defences.

"Angie is definitely pretty tough to play," Davis noted. "She makes a ton of balls, like a human backboard. It was definitely, definitely a tough match, tough challenge. I knew going in that the key was to change the pace. "I always believe in myself," Davis stated. 
"[Kerber is] obviously an incredible champion. I have immense respect for her. I definitely believe in myself and believe that I can hang with these girls and beat them."

Davis has a career-high ranking of 26th, attained in 2017, but the 25-year-old tumbled out of the top 250 following a poor 2018. She has retraced a path back into the world’s top 100 in 2019 and is currently ranked 95th in the world. The American matches her best effort at Wimbledon, and will now look to go one step further when she plays Spaniard, Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round.

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"You have to accept it", Angelique Kerber philosophical after shock Wimbledon exit

Defending champion, Angelique Kerber suffered a shock second round exit at Wimbledon on Thursday, falling in three sets to American, Lauren Davis

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