Emma Raducanu at centre of 'horrible' Wimbledon drama as seeds crash

Seen here, a glum Emma Raducanu after her second round loss at Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu was a shock casualty in the second round of Wimbledon. Pic: Getty

Tennis fans are rallying around Emma Raducanu in the wake of a shock second round loss at Wimbledon that has seen the critics lining up for her on social media.

Raducanu bowed out in straight sets at the All England Club after going down 6-3 6-3 defeat to in-form, bold-hitting French world No.55 Caroline Garcia.

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Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit also fell on a tumultuous day for a number of the women's heavyweights.

However, the one that will sting home fans the most is British teen Raducanu, who once again failed to reach anywhere near the heights of her maiden grand slam triumph at the US Open last year.

The 19-year-old has been plagued by injuries and has burned through a number of coaches since that momentous victory at Flushing Meadows as a qualifier.

To the evident misery of a centre-court crowd that had come to see the new darling of British tennis, Raducanu simply couldn't get it going against the impressive Garcia.

It was, though, a huge let-down for a predominantly British audience who desperately wanted to see Raducanu go deep into what is only her second Wimbledon.

The French woman was always in command in the first set and gained a crucial edge midway through the second.

Unfazed by the politely partisan atmosphere, she sealed victory with a cross-court backhand at the first attempt.

As Raducanu has so brutally found out since her maiden grand slam win, the weight of expectation on her - particularly from British fans - is immense.

Following the defeat, critics lined up to take aim at her on social media, which in turn sparked an outpouring of support.

Fans were quick to remind the naysayers that she is still just a teenager and has already achieved more than most other British players.

After the match, Raducanu insisted she was fit, but rusty, and happy with her progress. She was unworried by others' expectations of her as a grand slam winner, if at times exasperated by them.

"I've played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls and win a round is a pretty good achievement," she said.

"I didn't really have many expectations of myself. Playing on centre court again was a really positive experience ."

"There's no pressure. I'm still 19. It's a joke. I'm a slam champion, so no one's going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven't done that."

There will be plenty more Wimbledons for Raducanu but, for now, it is back to the gym and the practice court as she builds up to her title defence in New York.

Women's seeds out on dramatic day

Former Wimbledon champion Muguruza maintained her poor record of not reaching the second week at SW19 since winning in 2017, after going down 6-4 6-0 to Belgian Greet Minnen.

The ninth-seeded Spaniard looked to have a game suited for Wimbledon when she followed up an appearance in the final in 2015 by defeating Venus Williams two years later, but it hasn't worked out like that.

On No.2 court, she made 33 unforced errors and hit only nine winners as she succumbed.

Second seed Kontaveit was also bundled out after being hammered 6-4 6-0 by the power-hitting Wimbledon debutant Jule Niemeier.

Pictured here, a sad Anett Kontaveit after losing to Jule Niemeier in the second round at Wimbledon.
Second seed Anett Kontaveit was a shock second round loser at Wimbledon after going down to Jule Niemeier. Pic: Getty

The Estonian, who's reached No.3 in the world without ever having got past the quarter-finals of a grand slam, couldn't cope with Niemeier's booming groundstrokes and looked increasingly dispirited as she succumbed to the little-known German 22-year-old in less than an hour.

There were no problems though for Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari, third and fifth seeds respectively, who cruised into the third round in straight sets.

Two former grand slam champs, Angelique Kerber and Jelena Ostapenko, also progressed.

Kerber, Wimbledon winner in 2018, beat Poland's Magda Linette 6-3 6-3. Former French titleholder Ostapenko dispatched Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-2.

Lesia Tsurenko won an emotional all-Ukrainian tie defeating No.29 seed Anhelina Kalinina.

In delayed first round matches Karolina Pliskova, last year's runner-up, defeated fellow Czech Tereza Martincova and No.8 seed Jess Pegula, a quarter-finalist in Melbourne and Paris this year, defeated Donna Vekic.

with AAP

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