LONDON, Great Britain - No.2 seed Garbiñe Muguruza saw her eight-match Grand Slam winning streak come to an end in the second round of Wimbledon, falling to dangerous qualifier Jana Cepelova, 6-3, 6-2.
"I like to play on the big courts," Cepelova told press after the match. "Today and also last year my performance on big court was pretty good. I think I played today well.
"It was tough because yesterday we didn't play. I was waiting two days. But I had such a good performance because I have four matches behind me on grass. I'm used to it on this court.
"I had good confidence. I tried to play my best game."
Muguruza came to the All England Club at a career-high ranking of No.2, having just captured her maiden Grand Slam trophy at the French Open. But Cepelova is no stranger to pulling off the big upset; the Slovak qualifier outgunned then-World No.3 Simona Halep at this very tournament one year ago, and with a win over Serena Williams at the Volvo Car Open in 2013, earned a third Top 3 win on Thursday, showing the Spaniard no mercy on Court No.1.
"I think my energy was missing a little bit today," a dejected Muguruza said in her post-loss press conference. "From yesterday I felt already a little bit, you know, like, tired, I think is the best word.
"And today during the match, and after the match, I'm like, It's a tough day today. I feel empty a little bit, and I'm starting to feel sick. But I think it was a little bit of combination.
"I think she played great, with no fear. She was trying a lot of stuff that was working. My energy was not really there. I was trying, but didn't work at all."
Striking a clean ball throughout the 58-minute contest, Cepelova hit 14 winners to 12 unforced errors, while Muguruza struggled to find her rhythm with only 9 winners and 22 unforced. Forced to qualify for the main draw and ranked just No.124 in the world after back injuries and pneumonia derailed her 2015 season, the Slovak displayed form that belied her ranking, racing out to 5-1 leads in both sets before closing each on serve.
"From the beginning I felt really good on the court, because I had such good memories from the last year. I beat Halep there. And I step on the court really with the confidence. I just believed in myself every point, every game. I tried to win."
Up next for Cepelova is No.28 seed and former Wimbledon semifinalist Lucie Safarova, who eased past talented American Samantha Crawford, 6-3, 6-4. 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki is also in this section, and has yet to drop a set in her first two matches against Shelby Rogers and No.14 seed Samantha Stosur, and could play the winner of Safarova and Cepelova provided she gets past the always-dangerous Yaroslava Shvedova, who won a Golden Set at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships over Sara Errani.
"I like to play on grass," Cepelova said. "My style is, I think that I change a lot, the shots. And sometimes I play flat; sometimes I play slices. I think I'm good with the changes."