Slovak qualifier Jana Cepelova drew on the memories of beating Simona Halep last year on the same court as she put paid to Garbine Muguruza’s hopes of adding the Wimbledon title to her trophy cabinet.
Cepelova’s confidence never faltered, from the time she stepped onto Court One to the moment she sealed the match 6-3 6-2 against the French Open champion from Spain on her first match point.
“From the beginning, I feel really good on the court, because I had such good memories from the last year. I beat Halep there,” she told reporters. “I just believed in myself every point, every game.”
Muguruza, seeded one rung higher than Romanian Halep’s three last year, was an even bigger conquest, having also reached the final in 2015.
The 23-year-old hails Wimbledon as her favourite tournament and is hoping a deep run will lift her ranking from 124 as she rebuilds after spending six days in hospital with pneumonia last year and having a back injury.
Having brought down one of the tips for the title this year, Cepelova’s next opponent, Czech 28th seed Lucie Safarova, would be right to be wary on Friday – even though the match is on Court Three, rather than her lucky charm hunting ground.
“I like these courts. I like to play against biggest stars, of course, against the champions. And I try to keep winning against these champions players,” Cepelova said.
“I think if I will play my game, I hope we will play good and I can keep winning.”