Reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova suffers historic first-round loss


Marketa Vondrousova suffered a historic loss at Wimbledon on Tuesday, becoming the first defending champion to drop in the first round since Steffi Graf did so in 1994. 

Vondrousova, 25, won her first Grand Slam at the All England Club last year when she became the first unseeded ladies single player to win at Wimbledon when she defeated Ons Jabeur in the final. 

Marketa Vondrousova

Marketa Vondrousova kisses the trophy as she celebrates victory in the women’s singles final against Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon on July 15, 2023, in London. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

She admitted after Tuesday’s match that she entered this year’s tournament feeling a sense of pressure. 

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“I feel like everybody just expects you to win maybe, so that’s tough too. But I was happy to be back on the Centre Court. It just didn’t go as planned today.”

Jessica Bouzas Maneiro of Spain, who is competing in just her third-ever Grand Slam tournament, ended Vondrousova’s plans of a repeat after winning their first round matchup 6-4, 6-2. 

Jessica Bouzas Maneiro

Jessica Bouzas Maneiro reacts to defeating Marketa Vondrousova during Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2024, in London. (Robert Prange/Getty Images)

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It was Bouzas Maneiro’s first win at a tour-level grass tournament and also her first win over a top 10 ranked player. Vondrousova entered Wimbledon ranked No. 6. 

While last year’s win put Vondrousova’s name in the history books, this year’s loss did the same. She is the first player in 30 years to lose in the first round of Wimbledon after winning the tournament the year before. 

The only other player to do that was Graf. 

Marketa Vondrousova 2

Marketa Vondrousova walks off the court after losing to Jessica Bouzas Maneiro at Wimbledon on July 2, 2024. (Robert Prange/Getty Images)

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“It’s tough to go out defending the title,” Vondrousova said after the match, appearing to hold back tears. “I was really nervous from the morning and everything and [Bouzas Maneiro] was also playing good tennis. That’s kind of tough, you don’t have many chances to win free points.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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