In a match between two players ranked in their 40s, Alexander Bublik faces Marin Cilic in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Monday, May 10. Get the live streaming options of this Alexander Bublik v Marin Cilic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Alexander Bublik v Marin Cilic Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came in this very competition at this very stage last year. It was Cilic who took the honours as he required three sets to get past Bublik and make the second round. Can Bublik extract his revenge here?
Bublik Makes Quarterfinal in Madrid
For a player with a win-loss record of 6-9 on clay coming into the Madrid Masters earlier this week and with no real result to boast about on dirt, not too much was expected out of him in that competition.
In fact, Bublik had played a grand total of one match on clay in the previous editions of the three clay court Masters competitions in his career before this season – in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome – and lost it.
Not much changed this year when Bublik lost his opener at the Monte-Carlo Masters to Jeremy Chardy and when he won just one of the next three matches on clay, the writing seemed to be on the wall.
Which is why Bublik seemed to have surprised a few with his Madrid showing. Even himself.
He started off with a win over Marton Fucsovics, then needed three sets against Denis Shapovalov before shocking Aslan Karatsev to make the quarterfinals. And while he lost to Ruud in the last-eight, the Kazakh looked to have halted his run of poor form on clay.
Can he now register his first win in Rome?
Cilic Gives Madrid a Miss
Cilic’s poor form in recent years has been well-chronicled, which is why a semifinal appearance at the Singapore Open and a fourth round entry in Miami would have provided much relief to the Croat.
Not known for his clay court performances, Cilic then fell in the first round at the Monte-Carlo Masters, losing to David Goffin in a hard-fought encounter, kick-starting what most would have thought would be the start of another poor run.
Fortunately for Cilic, he looks to have done better than that in his next competition on clay – at Estoril Open. Wins over Carlos Alcaraz, Nuno Borges and Kevin Anderson took him to the semifinal of that tournament and while he fell to Cameron Norrie in the last four, Cilic would be relieved with that showing.
Cilic gave the Madrid Masters a miss last week but returns to Rome in a bid to emulate his 2018 showing where he made the semifinal. Or at least 2019, where he entered round two.
Bublik v Cilic Prediction and Tip
Interesting to note that both players start at 10/11 to win this and that is line with what we believe this result is – a tough one to call. We believe there would be a three-setter in this one with Bublik having a slight advantage.