Harrison vs. Cilic
|Date & Time||Thursday January 18, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Marin Cilic and Ryan Harrison meet in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open.
Marin Cilic is coming off a straight sets win over Joao Sousa that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Cilic won 93 percent of his first serve points and 90 percent of his second serve points. Cilic was absolutely flawless in his second round victory, losing just three first serve points and two second serve points. Cilic, who hasn’t reached the fourth round of the Australian Open since 2011, is going to be a tough out if he continues to dominate his service game at that level. Cilic is clearly in good shape and hitting the ball with great confidence. Cilic has been bounced before the fourth round of a grand slam five times since 2016. Cilic has won four of his last five matches on hard court.
Ryan Harrison is coming off a straight sets win over Pablo Cuevas that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Harrison won 88 percent of his first serve points and 51 percent of his second serve points. Harrison is building on his final appearance at the Brisbane International and is now in the third round of a grand slam for just the second time ever. Harrison has shown he has the potential to be a sneaky good player who can make noise on the big stage, but he must have more success with his second serve to be a threat in this match. Harrison has two career victories over top-10 players with the latest coming against Milos Raonic in 2016. Harrison has a chance to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time in his career. Harrison has won six of his last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played six times and Cilic has won five of those meetings. The most recent match was in Tokyo of last year, a match Cilic won in straight sets. Harrison’s only win over Tokyo came in the 2016 Mexican Open. Cilic has won the last six sets against Harrison.
This is an interesting match, as I like the confidence Harrison is playing with, and he has the heart to make this tight if he raises his game. I’d take Harrison to win at least one set in this match. But as far as who wins, you can’t bet against Cilic and the way he’s serving right now. He has the experience and gets way too many free points with his serve.
Cilic wins in four competitive sets.