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Nadal, Djokovic, Anderson advance, Marin Cilic out

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves to Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in their men’s singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

Argentina’s Guido Pella caused the first major upset of the championships by outlasting the third seed, Marin Cilic of Croatia, in a five-set marathon 3/6; 1/6; 7/5; 6/4; 7/6; 7/5 that lasted for three hours and 12 minutes.

When the world number five player took the first two sets, it looked like a routine day at work for the lanky Cilic, who had won the Queens warm-up leading to Wimbledon.

In a battle of Cilic’s hard serving, a critical break of serve denied him a straight set victory, as the Argentinean took the third set 6/4. The fourth set progressed routinely to the tie break which Guido won by seven points to five.

In the final set, Guido dropped only one point in the opening game to hold serve, while Marin fell behind 0-30 but hammered a 122mph serve to reach game point and required another cracker of a serve to hold after deuce. Each player held serve to two games apiece.

The fifth game will remain a painful memory for the Croatian for a long time.

Guido faced break point at 30-40 but took the game to deuce. Marin had two other break points but could not convert them while Guido took the game on his first opportunity.

Marin held serve to level but Guido took the ninth game at love. In the tenth game, Marin lost the first point and soon faced two match points at 15-40.

He cancelled them and held to level but his opponent held serve easily to lead 6-5.

In the crucial twelfth game, Cilic led 30-0 but dropped three points to face match point at 30-40.

He served his way to deuce but was denied game on first advantage. The next opportunity went to Pella who took the game to clinch the match.

The contest was unusual in many aspects. Cilic registered 27 aces to 14 by Pella but the Argentinean did not make any double fault contrasted to 8 from by his higher ranked opponent.

Cilic won 22 points in his 33 forays to the net, while Pella approached net seven times and took just 3 points.


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