Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Early SW19 exit for US Open champion Sloane Stephens

Early SW19 exit for US Open champion Sloane Stephens

Vekic had recorded mixed results heading to Wimbledon but turned on the style on Number One Court, sending fourth seed Stephens crashing out 6-1 6-3. It marks her second first-round elimination this year.

The American has not gone past the third round at the All England Club since 2013 - when she reached the quarter-finals and lost to eventual champion Marion Bartoli - and Vekic's flat, aggressive game makes the Croat a formidable opponent on grass, a surface which she won the title in Nottingham on a year ago, beating Brit Johanna Konta.

Despite struggling on serve - putting only 50 percent on the first delivery in play - Vekic was more decisive in the important points, especially in the opening. Now, her match is proof that anything can happen at the major tournament.

The second-seeded Dane has never been past the round of 16 at the All England Club but showed good form on grass by winning her second title on the surface at Eastbourne last week.

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At Wimbledon on Monday, it was time for another early exit. She served two in the next game out of a total of nine in the match, to offer Stephens a lifeline. "I don't see it as much as I do with other players".

"We play a very long season", Stephens said. "I came in here feeling not too bad".

Vekić wins in straight sets, going 6-1 6-3 against the American tennis star. "There were moments where I could have played better, and was just playing better in those moments in the last two sets".

Right after that U.S. Open triumph, though, Stephens went through a rough patch, losing eight matches in a row, including a first-round loss at the Australian Open in January. American Madison Keys, seeded 10th in the event, defeated Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, 6-4, 6-2.

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