LONDON, Great Britain - Belgian No.3 Alison van Uytvanck scored the first Top 10 win of her career in stunning fashion at Wimbledon on Thursday as she sent defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza out in the second round, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.
Though the Belgian was previously 0-7 in her career against the world's elite, she had won a set in three of those previous matches. The World No.47's best win previously had been against then-World No.12 Ana Ivanovic in Luxembourg in 2015 - her lone victory in 17 previous matches against Top 20 opposition.
After losing a 4-2 lead in the opening set and dropping five of the final six games, the 24-year-old responded in stunning fashion, breaking Muguruza five times in the second and third sets combined to move into the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career.
"Obviously she's so aggressive, so if I would keep letting her play, I would lose anyway. So I was like, 'Let's try this and maybe if it works, we have a chance.' That was my plan to do in the second set and in the third, and obviously it worked well," van Uytvanck said after the match.
"I played actually a very good match, so really happy to actually be through to the third round for the first time for me."
The Belgian breaks new ground in her fifth main draw appearance, as she reached the second round on her debut in 2014 but suffered first round exits in each of the last three years.
"Obviously you're nervous when you enter the court and you have to start the match," she said. "You always want that first game, but after that, I was feeling quite good."
"The confidence was there. I'm playing well the last couple of days, so that's what I took with me on the court. Like I said, in set two and three, I was just there mentally. I was in the zone and just hitting every ball, and it was going my way."
Aggressive serving and precise hitting proved the key to the Belgian's victory, as she landed 60% of her first serves but won over 70% of the points played behind it. Van Uytvanck limited the Spaniard in her forays to the net, as Muguruza went just 7-for-17 (41%) on points won when she ventured forward.
The World No.47 hit 29 winners to 22 unforced errors in the match, as the No.3 seed connected on just 18 winners to 23 unforced.
Muguruza's defeat sees six of the Top 8 seeds in the women's singles draw eliminated in the first two rounds of the year's second Grand Slam.
In addition, the upset gave van Uytvanck back-to-back victories for the first time since winning her second career singles title in Budapest in February.
"Anyone on a good day can beat anyone. That's what I think. I still think the top players, their average level is higher than, let's say, sub-top players. But anyone on a good day can beat anyone, for sure," van Uytvanck said.
"But it's also we are the underdog. We don't have anything to lose, so that's probably also why we step up our game and just go for it, because anyway, we don't have anything to lose."
Up next for the Belgian will be another seeded player in No.28 Anett Kontaveit, who held off the upset bug and defeated American Jennifer Brady in straight sets.
"Obviously she's a great player. She has good groundstrokes, serving well. She's also very aggressive player, the Belgian assessed.
"It's gonna be a little bit the same of today, I think. I have to try to or be more aggressive or try to vary the game a lot, so voila. I played her in juniors, but after that, I don't remember, even. It's been quite a while.
"I would love to be in the second week for the first time for me in Wimbledon. It would be great, and I will prepare everything to make it possible."