Pella Upsets Cilic In Comeback Wimbledon Win
Breaks a six-match losing streak against Top 5 opponents
Pella completed the biggest victory of his career, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5 in three hours and 13 minutes on No. 1 Court, for just his second win at the All England Club, Wimbledon. It broke a four-match losing streak in fifth-set matches.
Did You Know?
- Pella is a big fan of visiting Disney parks. Two weeks ago he took his girlfriend, Stephanie, a big social media influence in Argentina, to Disneyland Paris after the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.
- He is coached by Gustavo Marcaccio, who used to work with Juan Monaco, when ‘Pico’ was in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.
- His sister, Catalina, is also a professional tennis player with a career-high WTA Rankings of No. 173.
The 28-year-old resumed with a 4-3 lead in the third set, confirming the break with a hold to love, and later hustled to recover from a 1-3 deficit in the fourth set with two forehand winners. At one stage, Cilic won 18 straight points on serve and hit 27 aces overall, but inconsistency on return of serve and 37 unforced errors from his forehand contributed to his downfall.
Cilic failed to convert three break point chances on Pella’s serve in the decider, a tense 53-minute passage of play. Cilic saved two match points at 4-5, 15/40, then one at 5-6, 30/40, but hit three successive forehand errors to gift Pella his fourth opportunity.
“Yesterday, I played really good,” said Cilic. "[I] played a great two sets. It was a little bit unfortunate to stop last night when I was break down and when we came back the court was also very slippery. I lost my serve.
“Today, obviously, he won that third set. In the fourth, I just was struggling a little bit to find my rhythm off the ground. I was missing some balls. We exchanged two breaks during the set. I had even a mini break in the tie-break, 2/0 and lost it… I was not as accurate as yesterday. I was just missing some balls, giving him chance to keep playing."
Pella, who beat his first Top 5 opponent on his seventh attempt, will now challenge American Mackenzie McDonald in the third round on Friday. Cilic, who saved one match point to pick up his second Fever-Tree Championships crown (d. Djokovic) two weeks ago, is now 28-10 on the season.
“I think he played solid," said Cilic. "Obviously, he played much better today than yesterday. But I felt I had two different levels from yesterday and today. Even at some points, on a lot of points actually I had some short balls, and I was not executing them well. That was probably the decisive thing at the end."
Pella, who beat qualifier Jason Kubler in the first round, recorded consecutive tour-level victories on grass for just the second time in his career. Three weeks ago, he fell to Roger Federer in the MercedesCup quarter-finals.