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Huge pressure had no part in my shock loss, maintains Cilic

 

By Nick Purewal

Marin Cilic insisted the burden of expectation had no bearing on his shock second-round Wimbledon exit.

Third seed Cilic slipped to a stunning five-set loss to World No.82 Guido Pella in a rain-interrupted contest that began on Wednesday and was held up overnight.

Croatian Cilic was two sets up and in cruise control when rain arrived on Wednesday, but he dropped a crucial service game amid the showers and somehow never recovered.

Pella battled through 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 to reach Wimbledon's third round for the first time, leaving last year's beaten finalist as a major early casualty.

The Queen's Club title went to Cilic last month and he was strongly tipped by many as a serious Wimbledon contender.

Asked if nerves got the better of him, Cilic said: "I was still focusing on my game. It was nothing in my mind that I have to go far or that I'm obliged to do that.

"For me, yesterday it didn't matter. Just today when we came back, he served two good service games in that third set, and came back two sets to one.

"I was just not feeling as comfortable as yesterday with hitting. I was not as accurate. I was just missing some balls, giving him a chance to come back. That was playing the part.

"It was not just the pressure. It was me not executing well."

Asked how he conjured victory, Pella said: "I really don't know because yesterday he was playing so, so well, hitting the ball so hard that I couldn't do anything.

"The rain helped, today I tried to be a lot more aggressive. I tried to play with more power, and I think that's why I won."

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