Caroline Wozniacki’s honeymoon on grass was short-lived as she became the 11th women’s seed to fall on the first three days at Wimbledon in a 6-4 1-6 7-5 second-round defeat by Ekaterina Makarova on Wednesday.
The Danish second seed, who won the Eastbourne tournament last week, fought to the bitter end against the tenacious Russian, succumbing on the sixth match point after an absorbing match lasting two hours and nine minutes on Court One.
Makarova, three days short of her 30th birthday, broke early to take command of the first set.
Wozniacki complained about a swarm of insects on court and asked for repellent spray which seemed to sting her into action as she won five games in a row before claiming the second set.
Makarova came back strongly, however, and looked poised for an easy victory when she led 5-1 in the third.
Wozniacki produced her best tennis, though, to save three match points when 5-3 and 40-0 behind and saved another before breaking to level the set.
With both women playing fine tennis and moving each other all round the court, Makarova earned three more match points and converted the second.
“I am so happy I played my game. It doesn’t matter what the score was, I couldn’t win with a lot of match points, but I kept fighting and playing an aggressive game and finally it worked,” Makarova said after her second victory in nine meetings with Wozniacki.
“I was really nervous… I was a little bit ‘hurry up’ because I thought I needed to be more aggressive, but I am so happy I got calm at 5-5 and did my work again.
“When it was 5-5 I started thinking about those match points on my serve at 40-0, but I told myself ‘no, you are not going to lose this match’. I forgot it and started over.”