Joe Wolfond

12h in the past

Shaun Botterill / Getty Photographs Sport / Getty

Angelique Kerber’s newest run at No. 1 on the earth has come to an finish.

The reigning Wimbledon runner-up was ousted by 2015 finalist Garbine Muguruza within the fourth spherical Monday, four-6, 6-four, 6-four. Kerber wanted to repeat her finals run from final yr so as to retain the highest rating.

In a match that featured two gamers desperately in search of a spark to show their disappointing seasons round, the standard was astonishing from the outset, with each ladies enjoying a few of their greatest tennis of 2017.

With Kerber controlling the baseline, defending aspect to aspect and ripping forehands down the road, Muguruza – sometimes a staunch baseliner herself – started aggressively shifting to internet. Kerber handed her, so much – as is her wont – on her approach to profitable the primary set. However nonetheless Muguruza stored coming, protecting the strain on, tightening the screws.

She stung backhands deep into the corners and surged ahead to clip off angles, moved in behind punishing second-serve returns, even tried out a pair serve-and-volleys. Kerber by no means wilted, however she discovered herself more and more misplaced for options as Muguruza took away her timing. All advised, the Spaniard got here to internet fifty four occasions within the match, profitable 35 of these factors. Kerber performed about as cleanly as potential – committing simply 12 unforced errors within the match – however that wasn’t sufficient to stem the tide of Muguruza’s offensive barrage.

For Kerber, dropping the No. 1 rating has felt inevitable for a while. She hasn’t performed just like the world’s greatest participant all yr, reclaiming the excellence solely when Serena Williams stepped away from the tour to have a toddler, after which holding onto it by a thread by way of the clay season, regardless of dropping within the first spherical on the French Open final month.

However she did not give it away at this event, both. She performed gutsy, oft-impressed tennis, and Muguruza needed to be at her easiest – and bravest – to beat her. There are many constructive takeaways for Kerber, and if she will carry this kind over to the onerous-courtroom season, an enormous second half could possibly be in retailer.

As for the highest rating, Simona Halep will take it over if she makes the semifinals at this event. If not, No. 1 will go to Karolina Pliskova.

Muguruza will face Svetlana Kuznetsova within the quarterfinals.