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Wildcard Kudermetova Stuns Sabalenka In Berlin

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World number two Aryna Sabalenka’s Wimbledon preparations suffered a blow as she was beaten by Veronika Kudermetova at the German Open.

The top-seeded Belarusian lost 6-2 7-6 (7-2) to the Russian wildcard in the second round in Berlin.

Sabalenka is the latest leading player to fall short at the grass-court event after defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina lost on Wednesday.

American fifth seed Coco Gauff is also out after a straight-set defeat.

Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, who won the Libema Open last week, claimed 11 of the last 12 games to secure an impressive 6-4 6-0 win over Gauff in just 75 minutes.

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The tournament in Berlin was Sabalenka’s first since the semi-final of the French Open and she would have been hoping to get plenty of match practice on grass before her first Wimbledon since 2021.

The 25-year-old did not compete at SW19 last year after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine.

However, the Australian Open winner immediately fell a double break down against Kudermetova, ranked 10th in the world, and struggled to find her rhythm as she won just two games in the opening set.

BBC Sports

Written by: Debby Eselebor

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