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.
YOU CAN ALSO READ: Williams’ Birmingham Run Ended By Ostapenko
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.
Written by: Debby Eselebor
5:30 am - 10:00 am
Welcome to our extraordinary breakfast show, where the sun has just begun to peek over the horizon, and the world is ripe with endless possibilities. From the early hours of 5AM to 10AM on weekdays, we invite you to indulge in a symphony of captivating content that will set the perfect tone for your day.close