Swiss maestro Roger Federer plays 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in the second round of the 2021 French Open on Thursday, June 3. Get the live streaming options of this Roger Federer v Marin Cilic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Roger Federer v Marin Cilic Head to Head
This will be the 10th meeting between both players. Federer leads the head-to-head 9-1. They have met in two grand slam finals as well with Federer prevailing both times, i.e. Wimbledon 2017 and Australian Open 2018.
Cilic’s only win was at the 2014 US Open semi-finals where he won in straight sets and went on to the win the title, his only Grand Slam win till date.
Flawless Opener For Federer
2009 French Open champion Roger Federer made his first Grand Slam appearance since January 2020 as he returns from two knee surgeries and makes his way for what he considers the crucial part of the season, i.e. the grass and the hard court season ahead.
The Swiss has played two tournaments this season thus far, at the hard courts in Doha soon after the Aussie Open and on the Geneva clay earlier this month. Although his overall progress was nothing to write home about at either, he has mentioned how both were value added to him gauging his level, his fitness and getting himself into match form.
Federer started his French Open campaign against Uzbek veteran Denis Istomin against whom he had a strong 7-0 head-to-head. The Swiss started off strongly breaking Istomin in the first game and served well throughout the set, breaking again for a 6-2 win.
The second set started similarly with an early break for Federer, who then continued to serve flawlessly and improve in confidence with his groundstrokes and movement for a 6-4 win with all signs pointing to a smooth opening win.
The Swiss played more aggressively and experimented with a lot in the third set as he broke for a 4-2 lead and as Istomin served to stay in the match, he broke to 15 for a straight sets 6-2,6-4,6-3 win coasting into the second round delighted with his showing.
Cilic Career Waning But Good Win In First Round
2014 US Open winner and two-time Major runner-up Marin Cilic was once a regular in the top eight of the world rankings on the ATP Tour. A mix of injuries, disappointing form and early losses has seen him drop in the rankings as the 32-year-old is now ranked number 45 in the world.
The 2021 season has not been particularly friendly to the Croat either. The former world number three had a poor run Down Under with opening round losses at the Melbourne ATP 250 and the Aussie Open. Although he was a semi-finalist at the Singapore Open, the hard courts of Acupulco and Miami that suite his game well saw poor runs by Cilic again.
Coming to the slower clay swing, a surface that has never been his favorite, Cilic made the semi-finals at Estoril but has been unable to register anything else of note all season.
The Croat was up against young Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech in the first round here at Roland Garros, who was confident after defeating 2020 US Open finalist Dominic Thiem at Lyon, a couple weeks ago.
The Frenchman broke early and even held set point in the first set but Cilic came back strong to win the tie-break 8-6. It was one way traffic thereafter as the Croat upped his level and confidence and Rinderknech felt the pressure from the occasion and experience of the opponent as Cilic convincingly won in straight sets thereafter, dropping only three games thereafter
Federer v Cilic Prediction and Tip
This match-up has been and could be a major final, but both players have had their breaks from the tour due to injuries and thus neither is where they were a few years ago with their careers.
Federer who is short on match practice looked in good touch in his first round and will take a lot of confidence from that. Cilic did well to prevail in straight sets as well but has not been a force on clay ever and not looked himself for the last couple seasons.
Cilic is never an easy match, but expect the Swiss to prevail in four sets.