LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s Johanna Konta joined the exodus of women’s seeds at Wimbledon on Thursday, beaten 6-3 6-4 by Dominica Cibulkova, a player with a point to prove.
Konta became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since 1978 last year, losing to Venus Williams, but her hopes of repeating that thrilling run were crushed by an inspired Slovakian on a subdued Centre Court.
Cibulkova missed out on the 32nd seeding when Wimbledon’s seedings committee bumped seven-times champion Serena Williams up the order and she played with a fierce intent throughout.
Konta, seeded 22, could do nothing to stem the tide of winners as Cibulkova stormed ahead.
She showed real guts to save four match points at 3-5 in the second set as the crowd rallied to the cause.
But Cibulkova showed no nerves as she served for victory, going 40-0 up and finishing off the Briton with a powerful first serve that Konta could only fend into the net.
“It feels great, it was a tough draw today and I could not be more happy with my performance,” Cibulkova, twice a quarter-finalist, said. “I don’t really think about the seeding now, I’ll just focus on my tennis.”
Cibulkova will play Elise Mertens for a last 16 spot. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Lovell)