Reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza was knocked out of the Nature Valley Classic with a 6-2 6-4 defeat by unseeded Czech, Barbora Strycova in Birmingham on Thursday.
The top seed got back into the match by breaking to lead 4-2 in the second set but lost the next four games.
The Czech next faces Julia Gorges or Nottingham Open winner Ashleigh Barty.
“I’m a fighter and I like to fight — on the court and also off the court!” Strycova exclaimed with a laugh, during her on-court post-match interview. “Sometimes when you fight, you get rewards, and I’m very happy with my match today. I played pretty good today.”
The unseeded Czech, ranked World No.24, nudged ahead of World No.3 Muguruza in their head-to-head 4-3 after the one-hour and 26-minute encounter. Two of Strycova’s previous Top 5 wins had also come against Muguruza.
“I tried to play my best tennis, because you have to, because Garbiñe’s such a great player and such a great champion, and you have to pull it through and play your best,” Strycova continued, on court.
Strycova had 16 winners in the match — five more than former World No.1 Muguruza — and won 71 percent of points on her first serve. Muguruza was hurt by a whopping 29 unforced errors, and could emerge victorious on only 57 percent of points on her own first serve.