World number 38, Marin Cilic from Croatia will take on the 54th-ranked Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday, September 14. The match has been scheduled to begin at around 1 pm local time (12 noon BST). Get the live streaming options of this Marin Cilic v Alexander Bublik match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Marin Cilic v Alexander Bublik Head to Head
The pair have never met each other in a competitive match before. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two.
Cilic Showed Signs of Revival at US Open
After a terrible 2019 where the Croatian struggled with injuries and dropped out of the top 40 in rankings, Cilic has been showing signs of a resurgence this year. Although he doesn’t have a deep run at any of the tournaments this season, he has looked much fitter and played some decent tennis.
Some of that was visible at the US Open where the 31-year-old reached the third round. He took a set away from Dominic Thiem as well before going down in four sets. Although he has never really flourished on the clay courts and has lost all three matches on the surface this year, he will be hoping to build some momentum going into the French Open.
A fully fit and firing Cilic can be a handful to anyone on the tour. And the 2014 US Open Champions and former Wimbledon and Australian Open finalist will be hoping that he finishes this season strongly breaks back into the top 25 once again.
Bublik on a Losing Streak
The 23-year-old Kazakh is coming into the tournament with three back to back losses in opening rounds. He lost his first-round matches at Cincinnati and the US Open.
He then opted to play on the clay courts at Kitzbühel after that but lost in the opening round there as well. In fact, the last match that Bublik won in the main draw of an ATP Event was back in February in the first round in Dubai.
Bublik would be looking to remember the first part of this season where he reached the semifinals at Marseille. A run that saw him break into the top 50 in rankings and achieve his best-ever ranking at 47.
The Kazakh did play a lot of matches on the clay court during the season suspension at the Friendship Cup in Russia. Even though the level of competition wasn’t very high but he played 12 matches in total and won eight of them.
This is the first time that the Kazakh will be playing in Rome. Currently, world number 54, a strong run at the tournament can see him break into the top 50 once again achieve another career-high ranking.
Marin Cilic v Alexander Bublik Prediction & Tip
Cilic will have to quickly adjust on the surface if he wants to progress. Bublik is in terrible form but likes to play on the clay courts and will use that to his advantage. The Croatian will start the match as the favourite and should progress through to the second round.
Tip: Cilic to win: 4/7 (bet365)