INDIAN WELLS – Reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday night, losing 2-6 7-5 6-1 to world number 100 Sachia Vickery.
Muguruza, who was seeded third, was named WTA player of the year last year after winning titles in Wimbledon and Cincinnati.
The 24-year-old also reached number one in the world in September and was ranked third heading into Indian Wells.
“I did a couple mistakes here and there and she took advantage of that,” Muguruza said. “She was raising her level more and more.”
This is the Spaniard’s first loss to a player ranked in the 100s since she was beaten by Jana Cepelova (124) at Wimbledon in 2016.
Muguruza had five double faults and had her serve broken five times in the two hour 11-minute night match.
Crowd favourite Vickery, of the US, posted her first career win over a top-10 player as she served masterfully and controlled the rallies with her ground strokes.
Vickery defeated former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the first round, before recording the biggest win of her young career against Muguruza.
“I played on big courts before but nothing like this,” said the 22-year-old Vickery. “Honestly I can’t believe I won. I just tried to fight every point.”
Vickery said the partisan crowd motivated her
“The atmosphere really helped me, even though I was feeling it a bit physically. I kept telling myself ‘Just do your best’.”
Vickery next faces Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who posted the first surprise win of the tournament by eliminating Maria Sharapova in her opening match.