Wimbledon: Former champions Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battled into the Wimbledon third round on Thursday but third seed and 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic crashed out.
World number one Nadal defeated Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 and will next face Australian teenager Alex de Minaur. Djokovic, the three-time champion, needed treatment on his left thigh on Court Two but still had too many weapons for Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Djokovic has now made the third round for 10 consecutive years and will face either British 21st seed Kyle Edmund or US qualifier Bradley Klahn.
Cilic beaten by Guido Pella
Cilic blew a two-set lead in his 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 loss to Argentina’s Guido Pella, ranked at 82.
When rain forced the tie to be postponed on Wednesday, Cilic was leading by two sets against an opponent who had never won a match at Wimbledon before this year.
But the Croatian collapsed once the match resumed on Court One on Thursday and Pella took full advantage to set up a third round clash with Mackenzie McDonald.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, had been expected to mount a strong challenge for the Wimbledon title after winning the grass-court warm-up at Queen’s Club two weeks ago.
Three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka was unable to follow up his first round defeat of sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov when he lost 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano.
The world number 133 is in the third round for the first time after winning back-to-back matches on the main tour for only the second time in 2018.
John Isner, the US ninth seed, saved two match points, fired 64 aces and 88 winners to defeat Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-7 (3/7), 7-5. Nick Kyrgios, seeded 15, unleashed 42 winners to see off Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
Kyrgios could next face lucky loser Bernard Tomic if his Australian compatriot can shock Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty reached the third round for the first time with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fellow former Wimbledon junior champion Eugenie Bouchard.
Later Thursday, fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who made the semi-finals in 2013, tackles 36-year-old Feliciano Lopez, a three-time quarter-finalist, who is playing in a record 66th consecutive major.
Sharan, Bopanna advance
India’s Divij Sharan and his New Zealand partner Artem Sitak made a winning start at the Wimbledon Championships as they prevailed over Radu Albot and Malek Jaziri on Thursday.