LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - Lofty Croat Marin Cilic demolished Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-2 6-2 at Wimbledon on Monday, doing the damage on distant Court 12 with his pounding serve and thumping forehand.
The 28-year-old seventh seed has reached the quarter-finals this year almost under the radar with straight-set victories over solid opponents Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer and Steve Johnson, before downing Bautista Agut, who is ranked a healthy 19th in the world.
But the Spaniard looked way out of his depth against the 1.98m (6 ft 6 in) Cilic, who used every centimetre of his height on the fast surface to serve nine aces and whack 39 winners past his opponent, who stands 15 cm shorter.
Court 12 is billed as a show court, but it is a small arena well to the south of the All England Club ground and away from the hurly burly of the central stages.
Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion, clearly thrived out of the limelight, wrapping up the match in a brisk one hour 40 minutes.
Bautista Agut tried everything, looking for tight angles on groundstrokes and attempting drop shots. He even tried to finish a long rally in the second set with a lob only to see Cilic jump up and win the point with a high backhand volley.
The in-form Croat, runner-up at the Queen’s warm-up tournament last month, wobbled a little as he served for the match, with the Spaniard saving three set points.
But Cilic sealed the match on the fourth with a big serve that Bautista Agut could only parry into the net.
It is the fourth time in a row that Cilic has reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and he has rarely looked more comfortable. He will meet Rafa Nadal or Gilles Muller in the last eight on Wednesday. (Reporting by Clare Lovell; editing by Mark Heinrich)