With the French Open reaching the second round, there are a few enthralling matches lined up between talented players who are struggling to find form. One such match-up is the second round contest between Grigor Dimitrov and Marin Cilic.
Dimitrov had to work hard to defeat Janko Tipsarevic in the first round requiring five sets to eliminate the Serb. With former players like Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek in his coaching staff, Dimitrov has been struggling to maintain a foothold on the tour; his last title came all the way back in 2017, when he won the ATP Finals and also reached a career-high ranking of number 3 in the world.
Cilic, who had a decent 2018 where he was the finalist at the Australian Open and played a crucial role in Croatia winning the Davis Cup, has also been having a tough time this year. He has found it difficult to string together two good matches lately, because of which his ranking has fallen out of the top 10.
Cilic is currently ranked 13th in the world, whereas Dimitrov is at No. 46. The two have played against each other five times in their career, with Cilic winning four of them. Their last meeting was in the fourth round of the Paris Masters in 2018 which the Croat won 7-6, 6-4.
Cilic is in slightly better form right now; he reached the quarterfinal at the Madrid Masters where he seemed to have rediscovered some of his 2018 rhythm. He also reached the quarterfinals at the French Open last year, where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in four close sets.
That said, clay is not particularly favorable to the game of either player. Both Cilic and Dimitrov have failed to get much success on the slow surface over the years, which makes Roland Garros a severe test for them.
Match prediction: Marin Cilic - 70% chance of winning, Grigor Dimitrov - 30% chance of winning.Published 29 May 2019, 14:43 IST