Nishikori vs. Cilic
|Date & Time||Friday April 20, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.
Marin Cilic is coming off a victory over Milos Raonic due to a walkover, as the Canadian was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a right knee injury. Cilic looked really sharp in his opening match against Fernando Verdasco, as he got 72 percent of his first serves in play and converted on all three of his break chances. Cilic also dropped just 10 of 53 first serve points and hit seven aces on this slow court. You combine that type of form and the rest Cilic has over his opponent this time around, and he should be the favorite to reach the semifinals. Cilic has won eight of his last nine quarterfinal appearances. Cilic has a chance to make his fourth career semifinal appearance in the ATP Masters Series. Cilic has won seven of his last nine matches on clay court.
Kei Nishikori is coming off a three sets win over Andreas Seppi that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Nishikori won 68 percent of his first serve points and 61 percent of his second serve points. Nishikori dominated his recent victory despite dropping a set, as he won 65 percent of his total serve points and 42 percent of his return points. Nishikori is playing complete tennis at the moment and has been extremely solid defensively, covering a lot of ground and moving well on the clay surface. Nishikori has won four of his last five quarterfinal appearances. Nishikori hopes to reach his first semifinal in a ATP Masters Series since the 2016 Italian Open. Nishikori has never made the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters. Nishikori has won nine of his last 11 matches on clay court.
These two have played 13 times in the past and Nishikori has won seven of those meetings. The last meeting was in the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals, a match Cilic won in three sets. Cilic has won four of the last six meetings against Nishikori. Nishikori won the only meeting against Cilic on clay, a 2014 meeting in Barcelona.
Nishikori has found his groove this tournament, as he looks like his old self for the most part and is playing confident tennis right now. However, Cilic has owned the recent head to head against him and has a major rest advantage. While Nishikori had to play three sets to get to the quarters, Cilic was able to enjoy the day off. That’s huge at this point in the tournament. Cilic will also have Nishikori running a lot in this match, only adding to the fatigue factor.
Cilic reaches the semifinals.