Marin Cilic crashed out of Wimbledon on Thursday after suffering a five-set rain-interrupted defeat to Argentina’s Guido Pella.
The third seed, who came into Wimbledon as one of the favourites for the title having won the Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, suffered one of the worst results of his career after reaching the Australian Open final and French Open quarter-finals earlier this year.
“I was just not feeling as comfortable as yesterday with my hitting. I was not as accurate and I was just missing some easy balls, giving him a chance to come back,” said former US Open champion, Cilic. “It was not just the pressure. It was me not executing my shots on the court well enough.
“It’s still obviously big disappointment to lose in second round. Obviously I played really well in these last few weeks so definitely disappointed.”
Cilic had taken the opening two sets against the world No 82 but went down to a surprising 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 defeat.
When rain forced the tie to be postponed on Wednesday evening, Cilic was leading by two sets against an unheralded opponent who had never won a match at Wimbledon before this year.
But the Croatian, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2017 final, collapsed once the match resumed on Court One and Pella took full advantage to set up a third-round clash with Mackenzie McDonald.
“Yesterday he was playing so good, hitting the ball so hard that I couldn’t do anything,” Pella said. “So the rain helped me a lot. Today I played differently, tried to be more aggressive, he started to feel uncomfortable.
“I tried to hit the ball hard and fight for every ball and I think in the end that’s why I won. I felt much more confident, served better and was so calm until the end. I’m very happy.”
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