Wimbledon Men’s Championship: Day 4

2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic became a victim on Day 4 at Wimbledon as the third seed went down in a surprise to Argentine Guido Pella in the second round.

Cilic, losing finalist to Roger Federer at the Australian Open six months ago, emerged the biggest upset victim so far with a five-set loss as his battling South American opponent fought back from two sets to love down.

Cilic exited 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5 after holding the lead a day earlier when rain interrupted the evening matcht. Five years ago, Pella left the court on a stretcher after a first-round leg injury.

“Today I felt much more confident with my game. I don’t know why, I was so calm,” the winner said.

The no-drama Croatian, 2017 finalist here, remained composed in defeat in a match stopped the night before when he held a two-set lead.

“It’s still a big disappointment to lose in second round. Obviously I played really well in these last few weeks… but we keep going.

“I was just not feeling as comfortable as yesterday with hitting, I was not as accurate.

“I was missing some easy balls, giving him a chance to come back.  It was not just the pressure – it was me not executing well on the court.

Rafael Nadal saved energy with another straight-set victory – but was twice warned for time violations – to reach the third round, with the Spanish second seed dominating Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal clinched the win on a first match point as Kukushkin’s return on match point clipped the top of the net and fell back into his own court after nearly two and a half hours of play.

“It was a good test, said the 2008 and 2010 trophy-holder. “I’m happy to be through, I played better than my first match.

[quote] “I knew he would be tough, I went to the court with the determination to fight.[/quote]

“I’m happy for the victory and for how I played. the most important thing is to be through. I prefer to win in straights, I’m ready to compete hard.”

Three-time winner Novak Djokovic,  who has lifted trophies at two of the last four editions, remain on course in his comeback after a year of injury and poor results. He has reached the third round here for a 10th consecutive edition.

The Serb beat Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to earning his his 60th Wimbledon win – only the fifth man to hit that number.

Djokovic admitted to a minor niggle in his knee, saying it was muscular and would not affect his move into the next round.

“It was a bad move during a point. It affected my knee a little bit. I felt it all the way to the end of the match. .

“I’ve been doing checkups now. It seems like it’s nothing major. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll see on the practice session how it feels. Hopefully it’s going to be fine.”

Stan Wawrinka remained undecided about his immediate tournament future after losing in  the conclusion of a rain-hit second-round contest from the previous day.

The Swiss three-time Grand Slam winner went down to Italian Tomas Fabbiano 7-6(7), 6-3, 7-6(6) to exit the second round after losing his opening match a year ago.

The match was halted on Wednesday late in the third set, with the remainder being polished off by Fabbiano when they resumed.

The 33-year-old Wawrinka, coming back from two knee operations 11 months ago, had originally been lined up to play on clay at a home event in the alpine resort of Gstaad from July 16.

But on the advice of his doctors, Wawrinka said that the change of surface would be too much strain and said he would move straight into hardcourt training for the North American summer.

[quote] “I’m really disappointed to lose a match like yesterday and today. I think I was playing really well yesterday,” Wawrinka said. [/quote]

“But I was not aggressive enough, not moving well enough. I had a lot of set points in the first set. Set points again today.

“(Things) could have changed a lot. Unfortunately I lost in three sets.”

After his Wimbledon defeat, Wawrinka was in no mood to explain his future plans.

” I will see. I think the grass court was good for my knee. Right now I’m not thinking about what’s next.”

Australian Nick Kyrgios continued to live up to potential with a defeat of Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

Rising Greek teen Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3; US Open finalist Kevin Anderson accounted for Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

Australian wild card Alex de Minaur stopped Franc’e Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a career-first third-round Grand Slam spot thanks to a 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3 victory, which puts him into a match with Nadal.

German Philipp Kohlschreiber won a battle of veterans over Gilles Muller 7-6(6), 7-6(4), 7-6(3).

A pair of Frenchmen split the difference to advance, with Julien Benneteau going down to Frences Tiafoe 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 while Gilles Simon defeated Italy’s Michele Berrettini 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2.


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