Magda Linette notched 2021 Wimbledon's biggest upset by seeding thus far, as the World No.44 from Poland knocked No.3 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine out of the tournament in the second round, 6-3, 6-4, on Thursday.
Svitolina had won both of their previous meetings, but this time around, it was Linette who swept to the stunning win over the 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist on No.2 Court, needing only an hour and four minutes to move into the third round.
After her win, Linette told the Wimbledon Channel that she tried to "really make [Svitolina] feel that she doesn’t have as much time as she would like. I’m happy that I managed that, and I chose really good balls to attack and go forward."
Linette had previously never defeated a Top 10 player in a completed match, although she did advance past World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in their second-round match at Roland Garros last month, after the Australian retired due to injury midway through the first set.
This time, though, Linette was in command against Svitolina from start to finish, hitting 28 winners to Svitolina's eight, and winning nearly 80 percent of points off of the Ukrainian's second service.
Linette dropped serve in the opening game, but that was her only misstep in the first set as she broke Svitolina twice in succession to lead 3-1. Svitolina did well to save three break points two games later and avoid a 5-1 deficit, but she was unable to crack any of Linette’s service games again. The Pole held at love with sliding serves on the grass to take the one-set lead.
In the second set, Linette saved a break point with a winning volley en route to a hold for 4-4, which proved to be crucial, as she swept to a service break in the very next game. Now leading 5-4 and serving for the match, Linette again was perfect with her delivery, executing yet another love hold to finish off the thunderous upset.
Linette will next face No.30 seed Paula Badosa of Spain in the third round. Badosa defeated Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan on Thursday, 6-4, 6-1.
"I try to stay the same level, I try not to get over-excited, because I have another match in two days," Linette said to the Wimbledon Channel. "I really try to keep it all at the same level, to mentally stay calm and as consistent as I can."
Earlier on Thursday, the last two players who were left standing at Roland Garros, champion Barbora Krejcikova and finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, continued their exceptional form at Wimbledon with straight-set second-round victories.
No.14 seed Krejcikova of the Czech Republic extended her winning streak to a whopping 14th straight victory by outlasting former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic of Germany, 7-5, 6-4.
Petkovic was making her milestone 10th appearance in a Wimbledon main draw, but her experience was pipped at the end of both sets by the torrid form of Krejcikova, who, despite being a Grand Slam champion and a Top 20 seed, is contesting her first Wimbledon main draw.
"So far I feel extremely happy," Krejcikova said, during her post-match press conference. "It's always hard to switch from clay to grass. You know, I had such a huge run in Paris, and then after I didn't really have much time to actually prepare, so came here with no expectations. So far I'm really happy that I'm in the third round and I'm going to play another match. It's amazing."
Krejickova needed an hour and 20 minutes to claim the victory, where her 24 winners doubled Petkovic's total. Krejcikova was also successful on four of her five break points.
However, Petkovic pushed the reigning Roland Garros champion in both sets, fighting back from a break down in each. But Krejcikova picked up a service break in the penultimate game on both occasions to take control, then gritted through tough service games to first clinch the opening frame, and then the win.
"I think this match was really up and down," Krejcikova said. "I think it was really tight. Andrea, she's very experienced and I think her game actually suits the grass. I mean, I just knew it's going to be difficult.
"I always think that just breaking the opponent's serve, it's always a little bit more of advantage. So I would say really breaking the serve and getting the lead is the most important."
No.16 seed Pavlyuchenkova of Russia eased past Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3, to claim a spot in the third round of Wimbledon for the fourth time.
Pavlyuchenkova was a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 2016, but had suffered first-round losses in her three showings since then, between 2017 and 2019.
But a month removed from a trip to her first Grand Slam final in Paris, Pavlyuchenkova continues to play well, ousting Pliskova in just over an hour. On Thursday, Pavlyuchenkova had 23 winners to 17 for Pliskova, while also hitting five fewer unforced errors than the Czech.
Pavlyuchenkova will face another Czech in the third round: No.19 seed Karolina Muchova, who overcame Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
In a battle of former Wimbledon quarterfinalists, 2019 quarterfinalist Muchova took two hours and 18 minutes to quash the challenge from 2018 quarterfinalist Giorgi, and set up a match between Top 20 seeds versus Pavlyuchenkova.