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Wozniacki Avoids Excuses After Wimbledon Ouster, Cilic Moans

Written By: SD Reporter


Australian Open champion, Caroline Wozniacki refrained from giving any excuses, after she became the first big name to exit the 2018 Wimbledon women’s singles by losing in the second round, but men’s third seed, Marin Cilic moaned an implosion, after he also crashed out.

The 27-year-old, seeded second, was beaten 6-4 1-6 7-5 by Russian world number 35 Ekaterina Makarova.

The Dane’s defeat means five of the top eight women’s seeds have exited the competition before the third round.

Wozniacki, who won at Eastbourne last week, has never been past the fourth round in 12 visits to SW19.

She was plagued by flying ants during the match on Court One and needed insect repellent to get rid of them.

“I did everything I could. It’s frustrating because I feel like I could have gone and done something really great here,” Wozniacki said.

“I can’t even be mad at myself because I played up to the level that I can. She played above her level and really raised it and got a little lucky.

“I would be very surprised if you saw her go far. But with someone playing like this today, I really did what I could. It just wasn’t enough.”

Makarova, who won last year’s women’s doubles title with compatriot Elena Vesnina, led 5-1 in the deciding set and had four match points on her own serve at 5-3.

Wozniacki saved all four to level it up at 5-5, but Makarova, 30, regrouped superbly, holding serve to make it 6-5 and put the pressure back her on her opponent.

This time there was no response from Wozniacki as Makarova set up a meeting with Czech player Lucie Safarova.

“I am so happy I got calm at 5-5 and did my work again,” said Makarova, who reached the quarter-finals in 2014.

“When it was 5-5 I started thinking about those match points on my serve at 40-0, but I told myself, ‘No, you are not going to lose this match’. I forgot it and started over.”

On his part, men’s Cilic let a two-set lead slip as he was knocked out in the second round of Wimbledon by Argentina’s Guido Pella.

Last year’s beaten finalist was well in control before rain halted proceedings on Wednesday evening.

But, on the resumption, Pella improved and wrapped up the third set and took the fourth on a tie-break.

And the world number 82 held his nerve to convert his fourth match point and win 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 7-4

It is the biggest win of Pella’s career and he is now in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

“The rain coming helped me a lot,” the 28-year-old, who had not won a match at Wimbledon in his two previous visits, told BBC Sport. “Yesterday he was playing so, so well and I couldn’t do anything.

“Today, I started to play more aggressively and fight for every ball and that is why I won. Grass isn’t my favourite surface but I started to feel more confident and served a lot better.”

On Friday, Pella will play American world number 103 Mackenzie Mcdonald who will also be making his first appearance in the last 32 of a major.

“Every time you win a match in a Grand Slam it is a good feeling,” he added. “Tomorrow is a different match and we will both have pressure so it will be a tense match but I will try to be calm and win.”

Cilic said he struggled to find his fluency in the final two sets of the match, adding: “Yesterday I played great, today not so and that is a big disappointment.

“In the fourth I was struggling to find my rhythm, missing balls I hadn’t been missing earlier and not serving as well.

“I was not as accurate and he was starting to play and serve better. I was giving him chances to keep going and he was also raising his level.”

Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka was another to be eliminated. The Swiss, who has dropped to 224 in the world after a series of injuries, lost 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano.

But there were no problems for Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro who only needed one hour and 34 minutes to beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-1 6-2, winning 31 out of the 32 points behind a successful first serve (97%).

US Open finalist and eighth seed Kevin Anderson advanced after a 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory over Fabbiano’s compatriot Andreas Seppi.

American ninth seed John Isner sent down 64 aces in his five-set success against Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans – the third-highest number of aces in a match at Wimbledon after the 113 and 110 managed by Isner and Nicolas Mahut respectively in their record-breaking marathon encounter in 2010.

Australian Nick Kyrgios was warned for swearing in his straight-sets win over Dutchman Robin Haase, as the 15th seed treated the crowd to some clever strokeplay and some trick shots on his way to a 6-3 6-4 7-5 triumph.

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