Marin Cilic will be up against McKenzie McDonald in his second round match at the 2019 Australian Open. You can read the preview, timings, head to head options and how to watch the Marin Cilic v McKenzie McDonald live streaming options below.
Watch & bet on Marin Cilic v McKenzie McDonald live with bet365 here* on Wednesday, January 16. The Cilic v McDonald match will begin at 1 pm local time (3 am BST).
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Cilic Looks to Repeat Strong Start to Season
Croat Marin Cilic returns to the Australian Open looking to repeat his strong run from 2018, where he lost a closely fought five-set final to Roger Federer.
Currently world number 7, Cilic was ranked as high as 3 after the 2018 Australian Open performance. In recent years, Cilic has got his season off to a good start with strong showings at the Maharashtra Open ( erstwhile Chennai Open), and the Australian Open, like he did last year.
Cilic’s 2019 season was not off to the best of starts, with him having to pull out of the Maharashtra Open with a knee injury. The Croat’s only preparations Down Under, were at the Kooying classic exhibition tournament, where he beat Fernando Verdasco and Kevin Anderson.
Cilic’s opening round opponent was Australian Bernard Tomic, who could have caused possible challenges. But, Cilic came out of that relatively smoothly winning in three straight sets.
As Cilic moves through the draw at the Australian Open, his confidence and form will continue to improve. His powerful serve and forehand were both on display against Tomic, and he did not allow the Aussie much of a look on his serve.
The Croat has performed well at the Grand Slams in recent years, and if he can make through the early rounds, he is definitely a contender to go deep into week 2.
Rising American McDonald Looks to Spring an Upset
After a successful 2016 on the college circuit, rising American McKenzie McDonald has shown promise in his couple of years on the professional ATP circuit. 2018 was a breakthrough year for him of sorts at the majors.
McDonald pushed then world number 3 Grigor Dimitrov to five sets at the Australian Open and made it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
A strong striker of the ball and one who moves as well as any on the tour, McDonald is a fierce competitor. The American was coached by South African Wayne Ferreira when in college, and continues to maintain a close relationship with the crafty South African.
McDonald’s Australian Open was off a strong start, where he defeated rising Russian star Andrey Rublev in 4 sets, with a spirited performance.
The victory against the Russian will serve as a confidence booster going into his second round match against Cilic.
Cilic v McDonald – Who Will Win?
The pair have never met on the ATP circuit and their first encounter promises to be a good match. Cilic has the experience and the additional advantage of having done well in Melbourne last year.
While Cilic’s game and record at Melbourne make him the favorite, McDonald grows in confidence with every passing tournament. Cilic looked in control against Tomic, but it is still unclear if his knee is match-fit. Cilic will rely heavily on his strong serve to keep the American at bay.
However, if McDonald is able to trouble the Croat on serve, he definitely has the groundstrokes and court coverage to cause problems for Cilic. We expect it to have some close moments, but Cilic to win in four sets.
You can watch & bet on Cilic v McDonald live with bet365 here* on Wednesday, January 16.