Marin Cilic vs. Fernando Verdasco
|Date & Time||Thursday January 17, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Marin Cilic and Fernando Verdasco meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Marin Cilic is coming off a four sets win over Mackenzie McDonald that took 45 games to decide. In the victory, Cilic won 77 percent of his first serve points and 49 percent of his second serve points. Cilic had to really work in his three and a half hour victory, but he hit 67 winners and produced six breaks on 15 break points. Cilic Cilic can certainly improve in some areas, but his elite serve and ability to spray winners makes him a dangerous opponent for anyone and a dark horse title contender. Cilic hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the sixth time in his last eight appearances. Cilic has won eight of his last 10 matches on hard court.
Fernando Verdasco is coming off a straight sets win over Radu Albot that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Verdasco won 76 percent of his first serve points and 54 percent of his second serve points. Verdasco has won all six of his sets this tournament and has done a great job of finishing his points quickly and preventing a long, drawn out match. If Verdasco can keep his unforced errors to 30 or less, he’ll give himself an even better chance of making a rare deep grand slam run. Verdasco hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time in his last 13 appearances. Verdasco has won five of his last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played 17 times and Cilic has won 10 of those meetings. The most recent match was in an exhibition match a week ago in Kooyong, a match Cilic won in straight sets. Cilic has won the last five matches against Verdasco. A total of 12 of the 17 matches have been decided in straight sets.
As talented as he is, Verdasco has a history of coming up small against top tier players or on big stages. It’s no different here, as Cilic has owned the head to head history, which includes five straight wins against Verdasco. It also doesn’t help that they played a week ago in exhibition play and Cilic cruised as well. Cilic can also take a lot of confidence out of his second round match, as he didn’t particularly play well and was frustrated a lot of the time.
Cilic cruises in this match in three or four sets.