Simona Halep sees Wimbledon hopes crushed as world number one goes out

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Top seed Simona Halep fell to a stunning third-round defeat at Wimbledon as the shocks kept coming in the women’s singles.

The French Open champion led 5-2 in the deciding set but crumbled to a 3-6 6-4 7-5 loss against world number 48 Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan on Court One.

Halep’s defeat means nine of the top 10 women’s seeds have been knocked out in the first week – leaving seventh seed Karolina Pliskova as the highest-ranked player.

The path looks increasingly clear for 36-year-old Serena Williams to challenge for an eighth Wimbledon title in only her fourth event since giving birth last September.

Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck took the scalp of defending champion Garbine Muguruza in the second round and knocked out another seed on Saturday.

The 24-year-old reached the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time in her career by beating 28th seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2 6-3.

Next for is Van Uytvanck will be 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, the Russian beating 17th-seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-3 on Court Three.

Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, swept aside Vitalia Diatchenko in straight sets.

The Latvian raced through the first set in 23 minutes and eventually ran out a comfortable 6-0 6-4 winner against the Russian.

More seeds were scattered around SW19 as Elise Mertens, seeded 15th, was knocked out 6-2 6-2 by Johanna Konta’s conqueror Dominica Cibulkova.

Cibulkova was denied a place on the list of seeds to accommodate Williams, a decision which looks to have motivated the Slovakian, who will now face Hsieh for a place in the quarter-finals.

Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro was another casualty, the 27th seed turfed out 6-1 7-6 (7/3) by Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.

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