The Wimbledon 2016 women’s singles event ended on Saturday and Serena Williams is the champion, having defeated Angelique Kerber in the final in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to claim a record-tying 22nd major title. Unquestionably, her already distinguished career gained some additional prestige with the result as she is now tied for Slams with the player that might have been mentioned as superior when debating all-time greats. However, who are the players that lost some prestige or momentum with the results from the All England Club? Garbine Muguruza is certainly a player that comes to mind, and she leads my short list of players who lost something significant with the Wimbledon 2016 tournament.
No. 1 Loser – Garbine Muguruza
Muguruza entered Wimbledon 2016 as the 2nd favorite behind Serena Williams. Not only had the Spaniard made the final in 2015, but she entered Wimbledon on the heels of a title at the recently-completed French Open. She seemed poised and ready to make a run at the World No. 1 ranking, however instead she went out in the second round and only to Jana Cepelova. It wasn’t as though the Slovak was on fire in the Wimbledon draw either as she herself went out in the very next round after defeating Muguruza.
What was revealed with Muguruza losing so early at Wimbledon? Was it just a random loss that nothing should be read into?
In my view, Muguruza’s ambition may be temporarily satisfied following her title from Roland Garros. It’s hard to find a player, besides Serena, that goes for title after title on the women’s tour. It seems that a lot of the WTA players, after winning a major, go on a bit of a break and that’s what Muguruza looks like to me. We’ll have to keep an eye on her to see when she feels like playing her best tennis again, but she clearly didn’t feel like it during the grass-court season, going 1-2 in the two events she entered.
No. 2 Loser – Petra Kvitova
At some point people are going to realize that Petra Kvitova isn’t as dangerous as she used to be. She’s still only 26 years old. However, her season in 2016 has been terrible when compared to her previous standards. At Wimbledon, the two-time former champion finally took an early exit in a major tournament that many thought she would be very competitive in.
That might finally send the message out that the Czech player is well removed from playing her best, and her ranking is going to drift out to the World No. 13 position. However, if you look at Kvitova on year-to-date rankings instead of the past 52 weeks, she is not even close to qualifying for the year-end event. Year-to-date, the Czech player is the 30th best player, and there is something majorly wrong in her camp.
No. 3 Loser – Madison Keys
When Kvitova and Muguruza went out early in the tournament, it was actually Madison Keys that took over status as 2nd favorite with the sportsbooks. Following a grass-court title a few weeks ago in a premier event, everything seemed to be there for her. She had a draw that avoided Serena until the final and Keys has been playing exceptionally well over the last few months.
When she took the first set over Simona Halep in the fourth round, it seemed that Keys was going to take advantage of the opportunity in front of her. However, the two Slam contender emerged as Halep then won 12 of the next 19 games. With two middle-round exits at the French Open and now Wimbledon, it looks like Keys is a little overblown as a favorite immediately behind Williams. Even when the draw gets plundered of stars in the early rounds, Keys is still just a peripheral contender.
No. 4 Loser – Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska, when she arrived in the fourth round, really had a great look at making the semifinals. After surviving a second-round scare, the fourth seed at Wimbledon 2016 cruised through the third round. She then had a draw that avoided anyone ranked higher than World No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova ahead of the semifinals.
Heading into the fourth round, Cibulkova looked like she could have been a potentially tired player. The Slovak played an event in the week immediately preceding Wimbledon, a move that is generally a mistake as it’s best to enter a major well rested. Despite that, Cibulkova was the last woman standing in a grueling fourth-round match against Radwanska, winning the third set 9-7 after numerous fiercely-contested individual games. After complaining about tournament mishaps at Roland Garros that may have contributed to her fourth-round crash out in Paris, I really feel like Aga had to put a bigger dent in the Wimbledon draw.
No. 5 Loser – Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki didn’t have an easy draw in the first round of Wimbledon as she faced Svetlana Kuznetsova. Furthermore, it wasn’t like the match was one sided as the Dane lost 5-7, 4-6. However, the result still sent Wozniacki crashing down in the rankings in a major way. The former World No. 1 will be ranked outside of the Top 50 with Monday’s updates.
It’s hard to think of a time when a former World No. 1 has looked so washed up at the old age of 25. Dinara Safina kind of rings a bell, but her problems were related to injuries so bothersome that they forced an early retirement. If Wozniacki keeps her level of play up, then she could be out of the Top 75 before the end of the current season.