Bugs, 'lucky' foe Ekaterina Makarova send No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki out

Doug Mendoza
July 8, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki is surrounded by flying ants as she plays Ekaterina Makarova during their women's singles match in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in London on Thursday.

If she is able to right the ship and play deep into the draw in NY, the major where she's had the most success, or defend her title in Australia, Wednesday's loss might be remembered more for its quirks - the first Wimbledon rains, an infestation of flying ants and extra-long bathroom breaks - than for Wozniacki's defeat. She went on to win the next five games, the third set 7-5 and, 10 days later, her first Grand Slam title.

Makarova was faster off the blocks going 5-1 up with her power-packed game before the second seed began her fight back winning three games in a row.

"I feel like I could have gone and done something really great here". The pressure showed on Wozniacki's face as she erred three times handing Makarova match point opportunities.

Now ranked 35th, the Moscow native held firm and converted on her sixth match point courtesy of a swinging volley, then raised her arms in joy and probably relief.

"When I look at the draw, there's 90 per cent of everyone else I would have played today, I feel like I would have won", she said.

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As well as ensuring they've got enough strawberries and cream to serve at Wimbledon, organizers of Britain's oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament are having to contend with the consequences of flying ants' mating rituals. Her sister Serena, meanwhile, enjoyed her Centre Court return as she easily progressed. The five-time Wimbledon champion improved to 18-1 in second-round matches at the All England Club. "I have huge respect for Caroline for the results she has made until today, but the first round of Wimbledon is never easy, as everyone is always a little nervous". She won a grass-court tuneup tournament last weekend. "I forgot it and started over". "Good for me. Thanks God!" she told WTA Insider.

But the world No. 2 is probably asking herself why she continues to struggle at Wimbledon after being ousted by a familiar and ever risky foe, Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4 1-6 7-5 on Wednesday.

"For her to keep this level, I would be very surprised if you saw her go far".

"This year I tried to not put that much pressure (on myself) because last year I think I put too much, and I was seeded No. 2 here", Pliskova said afterward.

Ninth-seeded American Venus Williams recovered from dropping the opening set to record a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru.

"I don't know what to say". Unexpectedly, the former quarterfinalist came up with a lovely backhand victor followed by an ace to save herself from the brink.

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