LONDON – Caroline Wozniacki suffered fresh Wimbledon woe as the world number two suffered a shock 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 defeat against Ekaterina Makarova in the second round on Wednesday before telling the Russian: “You won't go far.”
Wozniacki, plagued by an invasion of flying ants during the Court One clash, saved five match points but has now failed to get past the last 16 in 12 visits to the All England Club.
It was a bitter defeat for the 27-year-old Dane, who was expected to challenge for the Wimbledon title after winning her maiden Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open in January.
Wozniacki then told Makarova not to get too optimistic about making a deep run at the All England Club despite the Russian winning the women's doubles title in 2017.
“I think she played above her level and really raised it and got a little lucky and played well when she needed to,” sniffed Wozniacki who had lost to the 30-year-old in the second round of the US Open last year.
Wozniacki had won all of their seven previous meetings up to that point.
“I don't know that she would be able to keep up this level for the rest of the tournament,” she added.
Russian world number 35 Makarova, who next faces Czech world number 66 Lucie Safarova, shrugged off Wozniacki's unflattering summary of her chances.
“I don't know what to say. Yeah, maybe I was lucky today. Good for me. Thanks God!” she told WTA Insider.
Flying ants also did their best to darken Wozniacki's mood.
The former world number one asked the umpire if there was something that could be sprayed to keep the bugs away.
“They're in my mouth and in my hair and everywhere - we need to do something. Is there a spray?” she said. “I want to be here to focus on tennis, not eating bugs.”
Wozniacki arrived in south-west London in good form on grass following her victory at the Wimbledon warm-up event in Eastbourne last week.
But once again she exits Wimbledon in embarrassing style, leaving the grass-court Grand Slam as the only one of the four majors at which she has never reached the quarter-finals.
Makarova insisted in the aftermath of her victory that she had tried not to think about the match points slipping away.
“I couldn't win with a lot of match points, but I kept fighting and playing an aggressive game and finally it worked,” said Makarova who had led 5-1 in the final set.
“I was really nervous, because you need to win this point. When it was 5-5 I started thinking about those match points on my serve at 40-0. But I told myself 'no, you are not going to lose this match'. I forgot it and started over.”
Makarova, playing in her 44th consecutive Slam, is hoping to emulate her run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals four years ago when she was beaten by Safarova
The 30-year-old has twice made the semi-finals at a major - both at the US Open in 2014 and 2015.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)