Two of the most experienced players on the tour – Marin Cilic and Fernando Verdasco, will lock horns in the third round of the Australian Open 2019.
Watch & bet on Marin Cilic v Fernando Verdasco live with bet365 here* on Friday, January 18. The Cilic v Verdasco match timings will be announced soon.
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The 2018 Runner-up Moves Ahead
Cilic, who was the runner-up at the Australian Open last year, has started this year’s campaign on a winning note. In the first round, he defeated the local favourite Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(3) following which, he met Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.
The 23-year-old American managed to put up a good resistance and tested Cilic at times during the match. However, the veteran Croatian, backed by his years of experience, won the match 7-5, 6-7(11), 6-4, 6-4, in three hours and 37 minutes.
Over the course of the match, Cilic produced 25 aces and 67 winners off his racquet, as against his opponent’s 9 and 36 respectively.
The 30-year-old Croat enjoyed a good run in 2018. He took his nation to yet another Davis Cup trophy after leading his team against the French contingent in the final. Cilic also won the ATP London title, where he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final. He was in the top 10 throughout and did well enough to ensure a permanent place there.
Is this Verdasco’s Resurgence?
The Spaniard, who at one point in time was World No. 7, has won all of his matches at the Melbourne Park so far in straight sets. His opening match was against the Serbian qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic, whom he defeated 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-3.
He then met Radu Albot and edged past him in straight sets as usual.
Verdasco started his previous season outside the top 30 and finished it as the World No. 28. He was the runner-up at the ATP Rio and reached the semifinal in Bastad, Shenzhen, and Vienna. While he wasn’t among the most consistent players, he still did well to be a part of the top 30 and register some good wins.
Cilic v Verdasco – Head to Head
The two players share a rivalry that started back in 2007. Since then, they have met a total of 14 times and it is Cilic who presently leads by 9-5. He has also won their last four meetings, two of which took place in 2018.
The first one was played in Monte Carlo while the second one took place in London. In both the cases, the sixth seed won in straight sets.
Cilic v Verdasco – Who Will Win?
The Croat will undoubtedly start this match as the favourite to win. While Verdasco will fancy his chances here, Cilic has been in a far better form and as such, he should be able to win this one comfortably.
You can watch & bet on Marin Cilic v Fernando Verdasco live with bet365 here on Friday, January 18.