Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza tried to look on the bright side of her second-round 6-2, 6-4 defeat on Thursday to unseeded Barbora Strycova in the Birmingham Classic.
“We have a lot of time now to prepare [for Wimbledon]. In a way it’s good,” Muguruza said. “I wish I could play more matches, but nothing really worries me.”
The top seed struggled in windy conditions against the tenacious Czech, who has won their past three encounters on grass.
Muguruza sometimes looked languid in responding to the challenge of a hard-working opponent and occasionally became irritated by the strong winds.
She also let slip a 4-2 second-set lead and was several times passed when she increased her ratio of net attacks.
“I’m going to practice more to get ready for Wimbledon. I’m not going to do anything very different,” Muguruza said.
Muguruza also lost in Birmingham last year, but she played four useful warmup matches against two this time.
Strycova reached the quarter-finals here for a third time and now is to play Lesia Tsurenko, the unseeded Ukrainian, who overcame sixth seed Daria Kasatkina 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“I like to fight, on and off the court,” Strycova said. “Sometimes you fight and get a reward.”
Earlier, defending champion Petra Kvitova beat Daria Gavrilova, a troublesome opponent in the past, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
Gavrilova won their past two matchups being persistent and mobile enough to contain Kvitova’s uncompromising hitting, but the wind pushed and pulled the Australian into errors at important moments.
“The conditions were tough in that wind, but that’s fine. The grass helped me for sure,” Kvitova said. “We hadn’t played each other on this surface before.”
Fourth seed Kvitova next plays Julia Goerges, the world No. 13 from Germany, who beat last year’s runner-up, Ashleigh Barty, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.
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