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Wawrinka bows out in second round to Fabbiano

Since reaching least year's French Open final Stan Wawrinka has tumbled down the rankings from three to his current 224, mainly as a consequence of the knee surgery he required last year

Stan Wawrinka’s poor run at recent Grand Slams continued on Thursday when the Swiss lost 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(6) in the Wimbledon second round against Italian journeyman Thomas Fabbiano.

Wawrinka, winner of three Grand Slam tournaments, trailed by two sets overnight but was 6-5 ahead in the third when play resumed in muggy conditions.

He then had two set points in the tiebreak but could not convert either, spraying one backhand well wide, and the 29-year-old qualifier Fabbiano completed the biggest victory of his career.

Since reaching least year’s French Open final Wawrinka has tumbled down the rankings from three to his current 224, mainly as a consequence of the knee surgery he required last year.

He lost in the first round of the French Open this year, the second round in Australia and at last year’s Wimbledon he was knocked out in round one. He did not play the U.S. Open.

Fabbiano, ranked 133rd, goes on to play either American Jared Donaldson or Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round – the furthest he has ever been in a Grand Slam.

In other early action on Thursday, John Isner almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory but survived to beat Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelman in a delayed second-round match.

The American ninth seed eventually won 6-1 6-4 6-7(3) 6-7(6) 7-5 but he came desperately close to another Wimbledon failure.

On Wednesday, he led two sets to love and held a match point in the third set but the 105th-ranked Bemelmans stormed back to win two tiebreaks and level the match before rain intervened.

On the resumption Bemelmans came close to a big shock when Isner served at 4-5 and trailed 15-40 but he saved both match points with booming aces, two of the 64 he sent down — the fourth highest total ever at Wimbledon.

Bemelmans tightened up at 4-5 and double-faulted on the way to being broken and Isner wrapped up victory, despite facing a break point, in the following game as he forced an error.

Isner now has the chance to record his best Wimbledon performance, having never been past the third round.

To achieve that he will have to get past Moldovan Radu Albot who beat Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in five sets.

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