Angelique Kerber crashed out of Wimbledon and lost her hold on the world No 1 ranking as the German was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 by Spain’s Garbine Muguruza on Monday.
In the course of the highly-entertaining, two-hour-18-minute match, where Muguruza came up with 55 winners, Kerber only managed to reply with 27 of her own.
The 29-year-old, who lost to Serena Williams in the final 12 months ago, has failed to make the last eight at any of this year’s three Grand Slams.
Kerber was unfazed by her ranking blow, saying: “I know the feeling already to be No. 1. I know the feeling to be No. 2, in the top 10. It was the best match for a long time for me, so I think I’m still on a good way even though I lost.”
Incidentally, Kerber led by a break in the earlier stages of the deciding set, before Muguruza overturned the lead. In the 10th game, trying to stay in the match, Kerber faltered yet again conceding her place in the draw, and in the ranking.
Kerber, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up, will be replaced at No 1 by either Karolina Pliskova or Simona Halep.
Muguruza, the 2015 finalist, goes onto play Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the last four.