Unseeded American upsets defending champion at Wimbledon

After losing in the qualifying round, Lauren Davis needed luck to make the Wimbledon bracket. Now she’s made the most of her break as a lucky loser with the biggest upset of the tournament.

Facing defending champion Angelique Kerber, the 25-year-old American stormed back to earn a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win in the second round on Thursday.

Davis, who entered the tournament unseeded and ranked No. 95 by the WTA for women’s singles, battled a left ankle injury during the first set and overcame a slow start. But with 39 winners in the last two sets, she looked dominant as she ran away with the match.

Davis will face Carla Suárez Navarro next on Saturday and is on the same section of the draw as world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and Serena Williams. Suárez Navarro won two of their three face-offs, although Davis won their most recent one in 2017.

This will be Davis’ second time making it to the third round at Wimbledon, previously having done so in 2014.

This caps off a major comeback for Davis

Davis has been ranked as high as No. 26 in the world in May 2017, but things have not gone to plan since she reached the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.

Following a back-breaking marathon loss to Simone Halep that ended her run in the tournament, Davis did not win another tour-level match the rest of 2018. That dropped her WTA ranking down to No. 264 by October.

But a strong start to 2019 has Davis back in the top 100, and this showing at Wimbledon projects to push her back into the top-75 — or higher.

“This win means everything because this is what I strive for, this is what I work for,” Davis said, via Tennis.com. “It’s still setting in. I’m definitely happy with the way that I played — this is, I’d say, probably the biggest win of my career, especially considering the circumstances, her being the champion last year.

“I was super disappointed having lost last round of qualies. I found out less than two hours later that I got into main. I was ecstatic about that. It’s honestly a dream being here. It just feels amazing.”

Angelique Kerber’s year-long slide continues

As Davis’ ascent continues, it also marks a key point in Kerber’s championship drought.

Kerber bested Serena Williams in the 2018 Wimbledon final in straight sets, but she has yet to win a major title since. Without a deep run on one of her stronger surfaces, the 31-year-old German is in danger of falling out of the top 10.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” Kerber said. “It’s not the way I would like to finish here or to play here. But you have sometimes days like that. You have to accept it. You have to learn from it, trying to forgot this as soon as possible.”

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Celebrities at Wimbledon 2019
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Celebrities at Wimbledon 2019
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Anna Grant and Hugh Grant attend day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends day 4 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge claps as she attends day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall chats with Philip Brook, the chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in the Centre Court Royal Box during Day Nine of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Sienna Miller attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Anna Wintour attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Phillipa Law and Jude Law attend day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton attend day 9 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Pippa Middleton and James Middleton attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Pippa Middleton and James Matthews on Centre Court during day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Actress Tessa Thompson attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola and Alex Rodriguez attend day 1 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Sienna Miller attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Alexis Ohanian celebrates as he attends day 10 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Actress Ruth Wilson attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Carly Steel and Rebel Wilson attend day one of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Rebel Wilson attends the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 1, 2019 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Maggie Smith attends day 10 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Mary Berry attends day three of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Actress Tessa Thompson and Dev Hynes attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Claire Foy attends day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis attend day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Nathaniel Irvin III and Janelle Monae attend day one of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 01, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Janelle Monae attends the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 1, 2019 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Alexis Ohanian cheers on his wife Serena Williams on day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Romeo Beckham attends day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, David Beckham and Wimbledon Chairman Ph1ilip Brook on Centre Court during day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Hana Cross attends day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02: Will Poulter attends day 2 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 02, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Actor Will Poulter attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Anne-Marie Corbett and Ant Mcpartlin attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Charles Guard and Felicity Jones attend day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Dennis Jauch and Leona Lewis attend day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Actress Rebel Wilson attends day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Lily Allen attends day 10 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: David Beckham on Centre Court during day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Woody Harrelson at the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian )
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Pixie Lott at the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian )
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Suki Waterhouse attends the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Holly Branson and Richard Branson attend day 10 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Zara Larsson attends the evian Live Young suite at The Championships, Wimbledon 2019 on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for evian)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Princess Michael of Kent and Wimbledon Chairman Philip Brook attend day 10 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Sara Foster and Tommy Haas attend day nine of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Anna Wintour (C) attends day 9 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
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