World number 11 Marin Cilic will be up against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan in their opening round match at the Madrid Masters 2019. The match will be played at 2.40 pm local time (1.40 pm BST) and you can find the Marin Cilic v Martin Klizan live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Marin Cilic v Martin Klizan Head to Head
These two players have played each other thrice on the ATP circuit with Cilic winning each time. However, all those matches came in the same year, seven years back in 2012 and not much can be be taken away from that. Except that Cilic is a much better player than he was in 2012 and Klizan has fallen to 60th in the world right now.
A Year to Forget for Cilic
Cilic has played in 12 matches this year and won and lost six apiece, not the kind of record he would be happy with. Grass has been a more enjoyable surface for this Croat but one of his last two titles did come on clay – was in 2017 – which should give him hope of shrugging off this bad rut he finds himself in.
That said, he has played in two matches on clay this year and lost both. After a first round bye in Monte-Carlo, he went down to Guido Pella in three sets in the second round and then lost to Pablo Cuevas in the opener at Budapest to give his opponent, Klizan, some hope coming into this one.
These defeats, however, could just be an aberration because nothing in his previous record suggests he has had struggles on this surface. Take the previous season on the clay swing for instance, and there was a quarter-final at Monte-Carlo, semi-final at the Rome Masters and another last-eight appearance at the French Open.
No Better for Klizan!
In terms of form, Klizan’s record this year has been even more abysmal. Not taking into account qualifiers, Klizan is 7-10 on win-loss this year and that includes a 2-3 record on clay which has a first round defeat at Barcelona and second round losses at Munich and Monte-Carlo apiece.
Klizan will take heart from the fact he was able to win both his qualifiers in this competition in straight sets, defeating Ernests Gulbis and Adrian Mannarino but now comes his true test against an old rival.
Where the Slovak will look to take inspiration is how he came back last year from a dramatic fall in his rankings to outside the top 180 and his subsequent recovery to a world number 38th earlier this year in February. He has gone on a defeat streak post that but he would believe he can test the world number 11.
Marin Cilic v Martin Klizan Predictions & Tips
Cilic should take this but not before Klizan has given him a fight and probably bit of a fright. Looking at a three-setter that goes in favour of the Croat.
Tip: Cilic to win in three sets: 3/1 (888Sport)