LONDON: Sloane Stephens became Wimbledon's first big-name casualty this year as the world number four crashed to a shock 6-1, 6-3 defeat against Croatia's Donna Vekic on Monday.
Stephens was expected to mount a strong challenge at the All England Club after winning her maiden Grand Slam crown at the 2017 US Open and finishing as French Open runner-up last month.
But the 25-year-old American, who has been in fine form since returning from foot surgery last year, had only gone past the Wimbledon third round once in six previous visits.
She was beaten in the first round last year and maintained her poor record on grass with another limp display against world number 55 Vekic on Court One.
Vekic, who sealed the upset on her fourth match point, faces Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova or Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in the second round.