Second seed Anett Kontaveit tumbled out of Wimbledon in the second round on Wednesday, thumped 6-4, 6-0 by big-serving Jule Niemeier, who is making a mark on her first appearance at the Championships.
The 26-year-old Kontaveit could not counter the German’s huge groundstrokes and looked progressively more downhearted as she failed to find her range on a sunny No.1 court.
Estonian Kontaveit has talked about suffering fatigue this year following a COVID-19 infection and has not played a match since the French Open last month where she was beaten in the first round.
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She looked out of sorts against Niemeier, spraying groundstrokes long and wide and making 24 unforced errors in a match lasting 58 minutes.
Niemeier, 22, and ranked 97 in the world after injury problems disrupted her early progress on the tour, jumped and punched the air when Kontaveit put yet another shot into the net on match point.
“It’s amazing,” she told an appreciative lunchtime crowd. “It’s one of the greatest wins of my career so far.”
Niemeier said she was nervous before the match on a show court. “But I love to play on grass … it suits my game.”
She will play either Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko who beat compatriot Anhelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
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Both players had spoken of the strain of pursuing their careers following Russia’s invasion of their country and Tsurenko wore a yellow and blue ribbon on her white top.
Kalinina, the 29th seed who described on Monday how her family home had been damaged by Russian shelling, opted not to follow suit.
Tsurenko, 33, used her extra experience to wear down her opponent and move through to the third round against Germany’s Jule Niemeier who beat second seed Anett Kontaveit.
Reaching the third round is worth 90,000 pounds ($109,000) this year and Tsurenko is donating 10 per cent of her prize money to help her fellow Ukrainians affected by the war.
She is the last Ukrainian player left in the singles after Marta Kostyuk was knocked out by Zhang Shuai.