Tennis: Marin Cilic suffers shock Wimbledon exit, Stan Wawrinka's poor form continues with loss

Marin Cilic was leading by two sets when rain forced the tie to be postponed, but the Croat collapsed once the match resumed.
Marin Cilic was leading by two sets when rain forced the tie to be postponed, but the Croat collapsed once the match resumed.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP, REUTERS) - Last year's Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic was sensationally knocked out of the tournament in the second round, blowing a two-set lead in his 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 defeat by Argentina's Guido Pella on Thursday (July 5).

When rain forced the tie to be postponed on Wednesday evening, third seed Cilic was leading by two sets against an unheralded opponent who had never won a match at Wimbledon before this year.

But the Croat, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2017 final, collapsed once the match resumed on Court One and world No. 82 Pella took full advantage to set up a third-round clash with unheralded American Mackenzie McDonald.

Meanwhile, veteran Stan Wawrinka's poor run at recent Grand Slams continued when the Swiss three-time Grand Slam champion lost 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to Italian journeyman Thomas Fabbiano.

Wawrinka trailed by two sets overnight in the only Grand Slam tournament he has not won but was 6-5 ahead in the third when play resumed in muggy conditions.

He then had two set points in the tie-break but could not convert either, spraying one backhand well wide, and the 29-year-old qualifier Fabbiano completed the biggest victory of his career.

Since reaching least year's French Open final Wawrinka has tumbled down the rankings from No. 3 to his current 224, mainly as a consequence of the knee surgery he required last year.

He lost in the first round of the French Open this year, the second round in Australia and at last year's Wimbledon he was knocked out in round one. He did not play the US Open.

Fabbiano, ranked 133rd, goes on to play either American Jared Donaldson or Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round - the furthest he has ever been in a Grand Slam.