Cilic Crashes Out At Wimbledon, Nadal, Djokovic Roll, Zverev In Trouble; Federer Friday
by Staff | July 5th, 2018, 5:57 pm

Add Marin Cilic’s name to list of those who won’t even make it to the weekend at Wimbledon. The No. 3 seed and 2017 runner-up crashed out to Argentine lefty Guido Pella today in the second round.

The match resumed with Pella up a break in third, and he finished the Croat off but still had to win two more sets. Cilic was so strong in the first two sets but then stumbled – literally – and was broken before play was finally called Wednesday night.

Today, though, it was Pella the better player. And after coming from a break down in the fourth, he seized control and served his way to the biggest win of his career – first over a Top 5 player – and into his first Grand Slam third round with a stunning 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5 win.

“Every time you play these types of player, they try to break your serve in the first game so they can get confidence,” Pella said. “And I think that’s what he got in the first two sets. He broke me a lot of times, I couldn’t move well on this surface – it’s not my favorite surface but I’m trying to improve my game – so after that the rain came and today I felt much more confident in my game. I served much, much better and I was so calm until the end because I lost three match points before I could close the game. So I am very happy.”

Cilic made no bones about it, and credited Pella with his play.

“Yesterday, I played really good,” said Cilic. “[I] played a great two sets. It was a little bit unfortunate to stop last night when I was break down and when we came back the court was also very slippery. I lost my serve.

“Today, obviously, he won that third set. In the fourth, I just was struggling a little bit to find my rhythm off the ground. I was missing some balls. We exchanged two breaks during the set. I had even a mini break in the tie-break, 2/0 and lost it… I was not as accurate as yesterday. I was just missing some balls, giving him chance to keep playing.

“I think he played solid,” he added. “Obviously, he played much better today than yesterday. But I felt I had two different levels from yesterday and today. Even at some points, on a lot of points actually I had some short balls, and I was not executing them well. That was probably the decisive thing at the end.”

Pella’s two countrymen had mixed results. Juan Martin del Potro dominated Feliciano Lopez in a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over the iron man. Delpo has yet to lose serve all event and seems to be in full flight.

“I played my best game today,” Del Potro agreed. “I was focused all the time since the beginning of the match to the last point of the game. I took all my break point chances and I think that was the key.”

Delpo next gets Benoit Paire who ended the hopes of Denis Shapovalov in four sets.

As for the other Argentine, Horacio Zeballos was quickly dismissed by 3-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. But close to the end of the match, Djokovic received treatment for a knee injury.

“It was a bad move during the point and it affected my knee a little bit. Yeah, I felt it all the way to the end of the match, basically, last couple of games,” Djokovic said.

“I’ve been doing check-ups now. It seems like it’s nothing major. Hopefully, you know, tomorrow I’ll see on the practice session how it feels. Hopefully it’s going to be fine.

“When I say ‘not major,’ if it was major I’d be pulling out from the tournament. What I’m saying is that it’s most likely a twitch, you know, in the muscle or something like this, that has affected the knee a little bit. Hopefully it’s nothing that will concern me, so to say, that I’ll be able to perform.”

If Djokovic is Ok, it’s good news becuase he is playing well.

“I’m very pleased with the way I played… I thought my serve was working really well. Playing on grass, obviously having 10-plus aces in a match, it’s not a common feeling that I get to experience a lot… It helps me relax in other parts of my game,” added Djokovic who now gets British No. 1 Kyle Edmund on Saturday.

Also playing well is Rafael Nadal who overcame a break deficit in the third to deny Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. Nadal moves on to face 19-year-old Australian Alex De Minaur who beat Pierre Hugues-Herbert in four sets.

“He’s good. He’s young. He’s dangerous. Good player. So let’s see, it’s a good challenge for me,” Nadal said. “I am very happy the way that I played today. That’s going to be a good energy to play the next round.”

The young Aussie wasn’t the only teen to come through. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a break down in the fifth to upend American Jared Donaldson. And 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe toppled the retiring Julien Benneteau also in four sets.

The top NextGenner is in trouble as Taylor Fritz led Alexander Zverev by two sets to one before play was halted due to darkness just before 9pm local time. Fritz took the third set breaker at love over the German.

Fritz’s countryman John Isner saved three break points late in the fifth and cracked 64 aces in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(3), 7-5 thriller over qualifier Ruben Bemelmans.

Karen Khananov won in five over Marcos Baghdatis. Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori set a Saturday showdown and Ernests Gulbis was also a winner. He’ll await the Fritz-Zverev victory.

And Stan Wawrinka went down to qualifier Thomas Fabbiano in the completion of their match.

On tap Friday, the third round gets underway with Roger Federer facing off against Jan-Lennard Struff. Big men John Isner and Kevin Anderson return as does Milos Raonic and Sam Querrey who takes on Gael Monfils in the match of the day.

1. Sam Querrey v Gael Monfils
2. Kristina Mladenovic v Serena Williams
3. Roger Federer v Jan-Lennard Struff

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Taylor Fritz v Alexander Zverev
2. Kiki Bertens v Venus Williams
3. Karolina Pliskova v Mihaela Buzarnescu
4. Dennis Novak v Milos Raonic

NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
1. Philipp Kohlschreiber v Kevin Anderson
2. Julia Goerges v Barbora Strycova
3. John Isner v Radu Albot

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48 Comments for Cilic Crashes Out At Wimbledon, Nadal, Djokovic Roll, Zverev In Trouble; Federer Friday

Colin Says:

Kyle Edmund was impressive in seeing off Khlan (was that the name?)but Nole is another thing. Some time ago Kyle held a match point against Djoker, didn’t he, but that was when Nole was suffering from a severe loss of form, with physical problems, not to mention various rumors about his private life. Frankly, I shall be surprised if Kyle gets a set. I hope I’m wrong.

Humble Rafa Says:

I am watching replay of my last match. Not bad for a clay court player, eh? (working on my Canadian English since I have already mastered Spanglish).

Tennis Vagabond Says:

To have a resurgent Novak hitting handfuls of aces is a scary thing, or should be, to Rafa and others on his side of the draw. The way things have broken, its become quite lopsided.Fed and Raonic on one side, Nadal, Djoker, DelPotro, Kyrgios and Zverev on the other.

el_matador Says:

some cracking matches tomorrow..kyrgios-nishikori,edmund-nole,tiafoe-khachanov(the best one for khachanov a lot👌),vesely-fognini..& I think this de-minaur kid will give rafa some fight,I like the kid..bring it on!!

el_matador Says:

hopefully sasha makes a comeback(though like taylor too)..a sasha-gulbis encounter would be gold 😍

el_matador Says:

was pleasently surprised with delpo’s easy win over deliciano..he has paire nxt & then simon/ebden..he should make the last 8..then I want to see him take revenge on rafa for that thumping at french😎..cant remember when delpo last played that bad vs a “big 4″ player😭(though delpo could win the 1st set & it could be different) bring on delpo-rafa plz…

el_matador Says:

sascha’s bh is so beautiful..

el_matador Says:

monflis has just lost the 1st set pathetically gifting a break to querrey at 5-6..I was so looking forward for a tiebreak there😭

el_matador Says:

sascha breaks in the 5th!!..come on..

Madmax Says:

Definitely the suspension from continuing to play yesterday late into the evening, has heped Zverev and hindered Fritz.

Margot Says:

S A S C H A!!!!!!!!

el_matador Says:

& sascha makes tomorrow we’re gonna have
nadal-de minaur
& add the england-sweden & russia-croatia wc semis,I think I will just be lying dead in front of tv all day tomorrow😍😂

Daniel Says:

Zverev through. He does like playing 5 set matches in Slams.

el_matador Says:

la monf takes the 2nd!!we’re level😍

Humble Rafa Says:

I tell you Pepe is not going to like what he is seeing. Some fire is back, some tennis back, back with the wife. All this can’t be good for Pepe. Time to take control, Pepe.

el_matador Says:

humble rafa.

RZ Says:

I knew the overnight delay would hurt Fritz’s momentum. Good for Sascha for coming through in 5, but he really needs to learn to win quickly. At least he wasn’t on court too long for this match as they played fast.

RZ Says:

I noticed that Freddie Neilsen is in the doubles draw. Wasn’t he the guy who won the doubles with Johnny Marray a few years ago, and then claimed he was going to focus more on his singles?

Margot Says:

Monfils takes out Querry. C’mon!

RZ Says:

Margot – score-wise your Greek beau seems to be doing quite well

Margot Says:

Yes he is RZ :) So very talented and scrumptious. So sweet his vast family is all in his box!

RZ Says:

This doubles match that Norrie and Clarke are playing is crazy. 18-18 in the 5th set…

rognadfan Says:

Oh man, Fed’s side of the draw is now looking really ‘rigged’.

Margot Says:

My new Greek beau wins in 3! C’mon!

Humble Rafa Says:

Is this how gentlemen behave?

Ladies, Gentlemen and small children. Now it’s a little cooler, I will attend Centre Court. Watch every (quick) point as I won’t be on long. For those new to tennis, I’ll be the one you’ll recognize.

Madmax Says:

rognadfan Says:
Oh man, Fed’s side of the draw is now looking really ‘rigged’.

July 6th, 2018 at 12:06 pm

How do you work that one out?

Daniel Says:

Isner 2 sets ip and no tiebreak?!?!

Medvedev making a comeback on Manarinno a break up in 5th set. Fed could play only giants in almost all his matches: Struff, Medved, Anderson, Raonic/Isner and finals maybe Delpo or Zverev, although most likely Djoko or Nadal.

rognadfan Says:

Madmax at 1:28pm

I don’t know; it just comes, you know, naturally out of envy.

Madmax Says:


Ah, one of the deadly sins.

jatin Says:

Watching Fed play this well on grass is a sight to behold. Struff is playing at a ridiculously high level as well. Great 2nd set.

jatin Says:

This is the best I have seen Fed play all year. Scary Good in the last two matches.

skeezer Says:

Yeah jatin. This guy he played wasn’t a bad player at all. Fed was just flat out better when it mattered and had to play on all cylinders. A good match for the Maestro. Onward! :)

chofer Says:

Tsi Tsi Fly, formed on clay like Thiem and with heavy top spin off both sides already proved better on grass than the Austrian. Why? He mixes his serves well, anticipate on returns, and moves wonderfully. He’s not afraid to come foreard and volleys well. Hope Dimi is watching.

This Greek and El Shapo are already my pleasurable next genners to watch on court. So creative. I wish them both a long time at the top in the future.

j-kath Says:

Just returned – quick dinner – put on what I thought was Noel…stupido – I mean me….Noel played yesterday as I ddn’t see that match – I got confused. Heard the Fed. won ..well done but did anyone expect otherwise? Saw a bit of Milos – switched off.

Don’t understand lots of the postings above – brain on holiday – there’s always tomorrow. Be happy all of you.

j-kath Says:

Tennis Vagabond

Not sure Milos will beat the Novak-namesake. The little I saw – Milos not impressive.

el_matador Says:

yep chofer,tsitsipas is a great to follow surely👌

chofer Says:

Wimbledon robbed Delpo of a 4 seed in favour of Cilic.

Thank you Wimbledon.

Like the WC today, the most interesting key is the half bottom now. Roger is already in the F. Some of the big Birds will get there. My money is on Kevin Anderson. Let’s see.

I have a feeling id Delpo passes Paire tomorrow, will also beat Rafa this time around (the horror for Rafaelites!) THERE’S NO WAY the great Rafa uses mor cut slices or drop shots than the tricky French to break rhythms and patterns. If Delpo can survive the arrythmic frenchman, he will again against Rafa.

I’m pretty confident now. Insult me when it’s over:))

chofer Says:

el matador

Sure! He wastes lots of energy, too! An Important Match Player is lurking there. Is it’s in his body language and fearlessnes. I put him avove Zverev on that department. The German still fragile in the rooftop, although getting better!

Daniel Says:

Agree, this Raonic won’t beat Fed. Maybe Isner has the best chance if he is not tired till semis. Anderson may well lose to Monfils, also. None particular mental giant in Fed’s side remaining.


Aslo got DelPo taking out Nadal in QF in my bracket, lets see.

Humble Rafa Says:

I have a feeling the Wimbledon winner will come from the non-midget half of the draw.

gonzalowski Says:

it should be a great match this Delpo-Rafa, the argentinian could win, I suppose he should serve very well.

Humble Rafa Says:

Has anyone seen the Elf move on clay? It’s like a sumo wrestler trying to dance.

chofer Says:


He needs is serve above 80%. I think he’s playing better than both Acapulco and Indian Wlls, but I’m intrigued about Paite (who has beating him the only time they met) I supossed, by playimg his usual slice-dice style who bothers him so much.

Of course, HR is right. He’s not the best mover. Anyway, the Elf playing like this gave Djokovic at Wimbledon a match Rafa never could (and that retirement early on on his career don’t count)And I assume we’re on the same page by saying top Djokovic is the better mover on grass than yourself will ever be, don’t you HR? So I’m guessing he’ll not have more problems with yours.

skeezer Says:

You did not mean that lol

chofer Says:

80 per cent points won with serve, he dad 97 last match. why not.

skeezer Says:

“He needs is serve above 80%“
Ok, so you don’t mean 80% of his first serves go in?

skeezer Says:

Thanks jalep. So 60% first serves in, that makes better sense. Still a great % though…

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