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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Graf Defeat Jumbles Field

WIMBLEDON, England -- The consequences of Steffi Graf's first-round ouster by Lori McNeil could scarcely be more dramatic. Either Martina Navratilova, in her farewell appearance at 37, somehow wins her 10th Wimbledon crown. Or the Graf-Navratilova lock on the title ends after 12 years, and a brand-new champion emerges. Suddenly, the bookmakers' new favorite is second-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. The baseline-hugging Spaniard has twice won the clay-court French Open -- including this year -- but has never done better on Wimbledon's grass than two quarterfinal losses. Jana Novotna, who almost beat Graf in last year's final before succumbing to nerves, is now the second choice. And McNeil surged from a 100-1 outsider to a 7-1 third choice after her shocking 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) victory over five-time champion Graf amid Tuesday's wind and rain. McNeil's best Wimbledon, in 10 previous tries, was in 1986 when she lost to Hana Mandlikova in the quarterfinals. Her best Grand Slam was a semifinal loss in the 1987 U.S. Open. Graf was asked if she expected McNeil to march on to the finals. "I don't think so, no," she said. Sanchez Vicario said she did not want to create pressure by considering herself the favorite, but she agreed her grass-court play was at its best ever. "I feel more confident and more comfortable," she said. "In this tournament, on this surface, anything can happen." She said Graf's new vulnerability -- back-to-back defeats for the first time since 1985 -- was good for women's tennis. "She was dominating," Sanchez Vicario said. "She was winning every tournament she was playing. "It's better for the competition that not all the time the same player wins everything," she added.