Unseeded Croatian Marin Cilic will play the unheralded Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in the semifinals of the 2021 St. Petersburg Open on Saturday, October 30. Get the live streaming options of this Marin Cilic v Botic van de Zandschulp match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Marin Cilic v Botic van de Zandschulp Head to Head
Saturday’s match will be the first career meeting between Cilic and van de Zandschulp.
Another Three-Set Win For Cilic
Marin Cilic loves playing in Russia. It almost feels like he reserves his best tennis for these parts. He picked up his 7th win from eight matches after seeing off Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets on Friday.
Cilic, who is a former champion in Moscow and St. Petersburg, is looking to make it into back-to-back finals in these two cities having finished runner-up to Aslan Karatsev in last week’s edition of the Kremlin Cup.
Just a day after clawing his way past Karen Khachanov, Cilic admitted he was mentally locked in a battle against himself in his quarterfinal match against the Spaniard. The Croat who has had a lot of uncertain moments in the past 18 months, and only came to life in the second half of the season is on the cusp of re-entering the world’s Top 30.
Cilic posted some great serving numbers which ultimately aided his course in getting past the finish line to win 6-4 3-6 6-3 in two hours and 34 minutes. He racked up 19 aces to seven double faults. He also matched Bautista Agut’s intensity with a flurry of powerful groundstrokes particularly in that third set that went his way.
Van de Zandschulp Breaks New Ground
Since losing to Frances Tiafoe in that epic five-setter at the US Open, it seems like Andrey Rublev lost his bearings. The Russian has been on a downward spiral ever since, with recent results a mirror opposite of his early-season form.
Rublev’s latest defeat means that he is yet to win back-to-back matches at three tournaments. And it follows last week’s catastrophic loss to Adrian Mannarino in Moscow.
Surprisingly, the same tournament that Rublev exhibited his struggles was the same that unearthed the newest Top 100 player. Botic van de Zandshulp made his name a chorus of a tongue-twister at the US Open when he reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier.
Now his breakout season has a new dimension. He has picked his first win over a Top-10 player after upsetting the top-seeded Rublev in routine fashion. He won 6-3 6-4, breaking the Russian four times from nine opportunities.
Cilic v van de Zandschulp Prediction and Tip
This would be some story should the Dutchman make it into his first ATP final. And in fairness, he has a decent chance of making it into Sunday’s showpiece in St. Petersburg. There are certainly holes in Cilic’s game on the basis of his last two matches. Maybe he is getting weary both physically and mentally after two draining weeks.