Guido Pella of Argentina came from two sets down to stun third-seeded Marin Cilic at Wimbledon, beating last year’s finalist 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the second round.
Cilic looked headed for a routine victory before the match was suspended by rain in the third set on Wednesday, but the former US Open champion couldn’t find the same rhythm on Thursday.
“Yesterday he was playing so, so good, and hitting the ball so hard that I couldn’t do anything,” the 82nd-ranked Pella said. “So the rain helped me a lot.”
It’s the first time Pella has reached the third round of a Grand Slam.
Also on Thursday, Novak Djokovic overcame an apparent thigh problem to beat Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 and reach the third round at Wimbledon.
Djokovic called for a trainer and had his left leg massaged when leading 4-3 in the third set. But he easily held serve in the next game and broke Zeballos again to close out the match.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal also advanced with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan on Centre Court.
Nadal won only 64 percent of points on his first serve and faced 13 break points — including three in the first game of the match — but he saved 11 of them and converted five of his own to wrap up the win in 2 hours, 23 minutes on Centre Court.
No. 8 Kevin Anderson beat Andreas Seppi on Thursday to set up a third-round meeting with Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany. The hard-serving Anderson hit 34 aces against Seppi to win 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.
The 25th-seeded Kohlschreiber ousted Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) in a match that featured no breaks of serve.
Meanwhile, ninth-seeded John Isner hit 64 aces and saved two match points to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the fourth time. The American beat Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (3), 7-5 in a match that had been suspended by rain on Wednesday.
Isner’s ace total is the third-highest ever at Wimbledon — behind his own record in a three-day epic against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which went to 70-68 in the fifth and is the longest tennis match in history. Isner had 113 aces in that match, and Mahut hit 103.
It was Isner’s first win in a five-setter at Wimbledon since the Mahut match. He has never reached the fourth round at the Grand Slam tournament.
Frances Tiafoe, a 20-year-old American, reached the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, beating Julien Benneteau of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 with the help of 22 aces.
Also on Thursday, France’s Gilles Simon advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Matteo Berrettini. But Stan Wawrinka couldn’t muster another comeback at Wimbledon, losing to Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 7-6 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the second round.
This story was originally reported by ESPN