Cilic vs. Raonic
|Date & Time||Thursday April 19, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic meet in the third round of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.
Milos Raonic is coming off a straight sets win over Marco Cecchinato that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Raonic won 82 percent of his first serve points and 80 percent of his second serve points. Raonic put on a serving clinic in his second round victory, which included winning 27 of 33 first serve points and dropping 16 aces. If Raonic is going to hit his spots like that the rest of the tournament, he’s a legit threat to win his first ever ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. Raonic hopes to make his fourth career Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinal appearance. Raonic has won six of his last eight matches on clay court.
Marin Cilic is coming off a straight sets win over Fernando Verdasco that took 22 games to decide. In the victory, Cilic won 81 percent of his first serve points and 33 percent of his second serve points. Cilic had to work to win his first match this tournament, but he came through in a second set tiebreak and managed to win 40 percent of his return points. Cilic has been a bit of a hit or miss in his last few matches, but maybe a competitive second set victory will get him back on track and lead to more consistent play. Cilic hopes to make the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters for his third straight appearance. Cilic has won seven of his last 10 matches on clay court.
These two have played three times and Cilic has won two of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Istanbul Open, a match Cilic won ins straight sets. Raonic’s only win over Cilic came in the 2013 Indian Wells Masters, which was the only match between these two that went the distance.
Cilic has had the upper hand when these two have met, but I’m not sure you put much stock into those numbers given that only one of the matches is recent. Cilic is the better mover on this surface and has the edge in longer rallies, but I can’t ignore the serving success Raonic has had in his first two matches. The slower court has not bothered Raonic at all, as he has a combined 38 aces in his last two matches, and those free points are going to be key in a match that’s expected to be tight.
I like Raonic to squeeze out a victory, making his fourth career Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinal trip.