Stan Wawrinka’s hopes of reaching the second week of Wimbledon for the first time since 2015 were dashed as he was shown the exit door by Thomas Fabbiano, who prevailed 7-6(7), 6-3, 7-6(6) in the second round.
Play was held overnight as Mother Nature intervened and the Swiss will bemoan the number of chances he missed, notably squandering a host of set points in the opening set tie-break and a three separate set points to force a fourth set.
The world number 224, who entered Wimbledon via a protected ranking, was buoyed by his first round shock over Grigor Dimitrov, but the lightning shot making he exhibited on Centre Court on Monday could not be replicated.
'Not aggressive enough'
“I’m really disappointed to lose a match like yesterday and today,” he bemoaned in his post-match press conference. “I think I was playing really well yesterday, making a game of it.
“During the match I was a little bit between in my game, not aggressive enough, not moving well enough.
“I expected him to play well. I’ve saw him play a few matches. I know how well he can play, he loves the grass. So he’s a great player.”
Evidence of Wawrinka’s apprehension was laid bare in the opening game of the match as the Swiss was forced to stave off two break points to avoid an early deficit.
Fabbiano was confident, being taken to deuce only once in the set and controlling exchanges with his forehand.
But the clarity he showed during the first twelve games was threatening to be undone as he unleashed on several errors during the tie-break to find himself in a 6-2 hole. Wawrinka, it seemed, was within touching distance of grabbing the first set but he squandered all four set points to the disbelief of himself and the spectators.
That disappointed spilled into the latter stages of the tie-break and Fabbiano converted his first set point as the clock ticked towards the hour mark.
The break of serve in set two arrived in the sixth game as Fabbiano continued to rush the Swiss with his flat groundstrokes and the confidence was oozing through the Italian as he wrapped up the second set in 38 minutes.
Breaks were traded in the third set as Wawrinka made a fist of it from a break down and he had a chance to steal the third set when break point arrived at 6-5 for the Swiss.
That went amiss, however, and the three-time Grand Slam champion was flirting with danger when he immediately went a mini-break down in the tie-break.
He quickly corrected his error and the pair were back on serve before Wawrinka broke to gift himself two set points. However, it was a similar tale to the opening stanza as the Swiss lost his composure, unleashing on a pair of unforced errors and with victory in sight the plucky Italian made no mistake.