Top seed Muguruza beaten in Birmingham

Petra Kvitova

Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the Birmingham Classic on Thursday, but reigning champion Petra Kvitova continued her title defence.

Fourth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, twice a Wimbledon champion and the victor in Birmingham past year, took the first four games against Russian Daria Gavrilova on the way to a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory. "Yeah, I didn't feel bad on the grass court".

World number three Muguruza made 29 unforced errors against world number 24 Strycova, who said she needed to play her "best tennis" to win.

"You have to play tricky in these conditions, and I did that, although I admit in that last game I was very nervous".

Muguruza took the initiative in the second set but was twice pegged back as she looked to try and gain a foot-hold in the match, before Strycova broke at the tail end of the set, and finally got the job done on a fourth very nervy match point.

"We have a lot of time now to prepare (for Wimbledon)".

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Muguruza lost in the semifinals here a year ago but at least gained four useful warmup matches before Wimbledon. Probably I thought I'm going to feel some pressure to defend the title, but I don't. "I wish I could play more matches, but nothing really worries me". When it was deuce, I played the second serve, she went for it, but she missed it.

Gavrilova won their last two matchups being persistent and mobile enough to contain Kvitova's uncompromising hitting.

During Gavrilova's first two service games, she committed four double faults and lost both service games, helping the third-seeded Kvitova to a rampant start.

"The conditions were tough in that wind", Kvitova said.

The Czech struggled on her second serve but he lost just seven points behind the first serve and she got broken only once to control the scoreboard all the time.

"The grass helped me, for sure. We hadn't played each other on this surface before".

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