SANTA PONSA (AFP) – Fresh from winning the French Open and climbing to second place in the world rankings, Spain s Garbine Muguruza was shocked 6-3, 6-4 by Belgium s Kirsten Flipkens at the WTA Mallorca Open on Tuesday.
The match was top seed Muguruza s first since lifting the Roland Garros title for her first Grand Slam by beating her idol Serena Williams in the final in Paris two weeks ago.
“I wanted to play Mallorca so much and I tried, but then I went to the court. But I couldn t find my rhythm and Flipken s game matches grass very well,” said the Venezuelan-born 22-year-old at the inaugural Santa Ponca event.
“I barely had time to actually practise and enjoy the tournament.”
With the contest poised at 3-3 in the first set, Muguruza blew a string of break points before the Belgian held and then broke herself before serving out the first set.
The Spaniard seemed to wilt thereafter.
“I had so many opportunities coming to me that I couldn t take, and she played really well during those big moments,” said Muguruza.
“So the match started slipping away from me little by little.”
Flipkens will now meet Monica Puig, who beat Germany s Julia Gorges, in the second round.
Second seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia beat Croatia s Ana Konjuh 7-5, 6-3 while another Serb, third seed Ana Ivanovic, beat Pauline Parmentier of France 6-4, 6-4.
“I wasn t really able to play my game but slowly, little by little, I started to get in my rhythm. I felt more comfortable on the court and I think she just couldn t follow,” Jankovic said.
Canada s Eugenie Bouchard, the beaten 2014 Wimbledon finalist and eighth seed in Mallorca, beat Montenegran Danka Kovinic 6-3, 7-5 before saying the heat in Spain had taken its toll on her.
“It s hot over here, we re not used to that when we play on grass, it s usually cold, rainy countries,” said the 22-year-old.