Caroline Wozniacki is surrounded by flying ants as she plays Ekaterina Makarova during their women's singles match in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in London on Thursday.
Wozniacki has never reached a Wimbledon quarterfinal - losing six times in the fourth round - but had hopes of a longer stay this fortnight after winning the first grass court title of her career in Eastbourne last week. But she's probably asking herself why she continues to struggle at Wimbledon after she was ousted by a familiar foe, Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4 1-6 7-5 on Wednesday. In the second round in Melbourne this year, she trailed Jana Fett of Germany 5-1 in the decider only to come back to win and when she recovered from 5-1 down, saving four match points, to level at 5-5, it looked like she might do it again. But with someone playing like this today, I really did what I could. She will face Lucie Šafářová in the round of 32.
The 36-year-old American barely broke sweat in a one-sided first set but was tested by the world number 135 in the second without ever looking troubled. I've done that in both my matches, just continued to play better and better throughout the match. "I'm getting there, I don't think I'm there yet but I expect to get there, not only at Wimbledon but other tournaments in the future". If she needed inspiration in the third set against Makarova, the memory of Melbourne was it - only she didn't see it that way.
Instead, it's the fourth time in the past seven years that she's out in the first or second round. It is always tough to play against her so I'm happy I played the game. She won a grass-court tuneup tournament last weekend.
"When it was 5-all, I just started thinking about those match points and my serve and 40-love", Makarova said in a postmatch television interview.
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"Sometimes it just doesn't go your way".
In the third set Makarova failed to serve out the match at 5-1 and 5-3 but eventually crossed the finish line.
"It's frustrating because I feel like I could have gone and done something really great here", the No.2 seed said after the game.
But what set her loss apart - more than the gritty slugfest of a match - was Wozniacki's unsporting response. "I want to be here to focus on tennis, not eating bugs", she said to the umpire. "It didn't matter what was the score and I couldn't win those match points, but I kept playing my aggressive game and finally it worked".
Milos Raonic, the 2016 finalist, sits in Federer's half and blasted 34 aces in his 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) victory over Australia's John Millman. "I don't know if I've ever played her before, so it's always hard to play someone for the first time - I'm sure she's seen me play a lot".