Roberto Bautista-Agut vs. Marin Cilic
|Date & Time||Saturday January 19, 2019, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Roberto Bautista-Agut and Marin Cilic meet in the fourth round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Roberto Bautista-Agut is coming off a straight sets win over Karen Khachanov that took 32 games to decide. In the victory, Bautista-Agut won 82 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Bautista-Agut won 71 percent of his total service points and converted on five of 14 break points. Bautista-Agut finally had a somewhat easy match when you consider he blew back-to-back two set leads in his previous two matches and had to hold on for dear life. If you take away those two moments, Bautista-Agut has quietly been one of the more impressive players three matches in, and he’s shown just how mentally tough he is. Bautista-Agut isn’t going to be an easy out for anybody at this stage of the tournament. Bautista-Agut has a chance to make a grand slam quarterfinal for the first time in his career. Bautista-Agut is 0-9 in his career in grand slam fourth round matches. Bautista-Agut has won 10 of his last 11 matches on hard court.
Marin Cilic is coming off a five sets win over Fernando Verdasco that took 48 games to decide. In the victory, Cilic won 82 percent of his first serve points and 52 percent of his second serve points. Cilic won 69 percent of his total service points and had 66 winners to go with 51 unforced errors. Cilic started the match extremely slow, but he was able to buckle down and win three straight sets to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the seventh time in his last 11 tries. When Cilic has his serve and his shotmaking ability down, he’s one of the more dangerous players in this entire field. Cilic has a chance to make his 14th career grand sam quarterfinal and his third at the Australian Open. Cilic has won eight of his last 10 matches on hard court.
These two have played five times and Cilic has won four of those matches. The most recent meeting was in Paris of 2017, a match Cilic won in straight sets. Bautista-Agut’s only win over Cilic actually came in the 2016 Australian Open.
Bautista-Agut has really shown his mental toughness this tournament and is more than capable of grinding out a victory here. The problem is Bautista-Agut has also allowed lesser opponents hang around and has played a ton of tennis when he didn’t have to. Cilic is capable of steamrolling opponents who don’t match his energy, and he should be a better player this time after surviving his recent scare. Not to mention the head to head which clearly favors Cilic.
I’ll take Cilic to win this match in three or four sets.