Cilic Loses to Pella in Second Round of Wimbledon


Third seed Marin Cilic let a two-set lead slip as he was knocked out in the second round of Wimbledon by Argentina’s Guido Pella.

Last year’s beaten finalist was well in control before rain halted proceedings on Wednesday evening.

But, on the resumption, Pella improved and wrapped up the third set and took the fourth on a tie-break.

And the world number 82 held his nerve to convert his fourth match point and win 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 7-4

It is the biggest win of Pella’s career and he is now in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

“The rain coming helped me a lot,” the 28-year-old, who had not won a match at Wimbledon in his two previous visits, told BBC Sport.

“Yesterday he was playing so, so well and I couldn’t do anything.

“Today, I started to play more aggressively and fight for every ball and that is why I won. Grass isn’t my favourite surface but I started to feel more confident and served a lot better.”

On Friday, Pella will play American world number 103 Mackenzie Mcdonald who will also be making his first appearance in the last 32 of a major.

“Every time you win a match in a Grand Slam it is a good feeling,” he added.

“Tomorrow is a different match and we will both have pressure so it will be a tense match but I will try to be calm and win.”

Cilic told BBC Sport that he struggled to find his fluency in the final two sets of the match.

“Yesterday I played great, today not so and that is a big disappointment,” he said.

“In the fourth I was struggling to find my rhythm, missing balls I hadn’t been missing earlier and not serving as well.

“I was not as accurate and he was starting to play and serve better. I was giving him chances to keep going and he was also raising his level.”

Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka was another to be eliminated. The Swiss, who has dropped to 224 in the world after a series of injuries, lost 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano.

But there were no problems for Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro who only needed one hour and 34 minutes to beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-1 6-2, winning 31 out of the 32 points behind a successful first serve (97%).

US Open finalist and eighth seed Kevin Anderson advanced after a 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory over Fabbiano’s compatriot Andreas Seppi.

American ninth seed John Isner sent down 64 aces in his five-set success against Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans – the third-highest number of aces in a match at Wimbledon after the 113 and 110 managed by Isner and Nicolas Mahut respectively in their record-breaking marathon encounter in 2010.

And Australian Nick Kyrgios was warned for swearing in his straight-sets win over Dutchman Robin Haase.

The 15th seed treated the crowd to some clever strokeplay and some trick shots on his way to a 6-3 6-4 7-5 triumph.