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Roland Garros: Dominic Thiem vs Marin Cilic preview, head-to-head & prediction | French Open 2020

Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open
Namit Kumar
Modified 28 Sep 2020, 11:14 IST

Match details

Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Marin Cilic

Date: 28 September 2020

Tournament: Roland Garros 2020

Round: First Round (Round of 128)

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: Approx €38,000,000

Match timing: Approx. 1 pm CEST, 4.30 pm IST


Live telecast: USA - NBC Sport / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 

Dominic Thiem vs Marin Cilic preview

Marin Cilic at the Rome Masters 2020
Marin Cilic at the Rome Masters 2020

2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem will kick off his Roland Garros campaign against former Grand Slam winner Marin Cilic in the first round on Monday.

Thiem comes into the match straight from his remarkable triumph at Flushing Meadows. The Austrian fought back from two sets down to win a grueling encounter against German Alexander Zverev in the final to lift his maiden Grand Slam trophy.

Although Thiem got plenty of practice on clay in the exhibition tournaments he played during the lockdown, this is his first official match on the surface this year. The Austrian opted to skip the Rome Masters and the Hamburg Open to prepare for Roland Garros.

Dominic Thiem has a formidable record in Paris, but many believe the unusual conditions at the French Open this year could cause him problems. The damp, cold air and the change of balls from Babolat to Wilson are expected to hurt players who stand well behind the baseline.


Thiem's opponent, Marin Cilic, has seen considerable highs during the course of his career. However, 2020 has not been his year so far.

After a disappointing run at the Australian Open, Cilic bowed out early in Marseille and Dubai. Following the resumption of tennis, the Croat was once again quite poor at the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open.

The 31-year-old's last outing was on clay in Rome, where he got a couple of confidence-boosting wins before eventually losing to Casper Ruud in the third round.

Dominic Thiem vs Marin Cilic head-to-head

Dominic Thiem (L) and Marin Cilic at the 2019 Rogers Cup
Dominic Thiem (L) and Marin Cilic at the 2019 Rogers Cup

The meeting in Paris will be the fourth between the two players, with Dominic Thiem leading 3-0 in the head-to-head matchups so far. The two players met very recently, at the US Open earlier this month - where the Austrian defeated Cilic in four sets.

Dominic Thiem vs Marin Cilic prediction

Dominic Thiem at the 2019 French Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2019 French Open

Dominic Thiem comes into the match having reached the final at three of the last five Grand Slams. He has also been the runner-up at Roland Garros for two years running, which makes him the overwhelming favorite against Marin Cilic.

However, the different conditions at the French Open could be a cause for concern for the 27-year-old. Paris this year seems to be a venue for big servers like Cilic.

The Croat's forehand could also be a huge asset, given his ability to hit flat bombs and send players deep behind the baseline with its pace.

Thiem's serve is sure to be tested. However, if the Austrian can maintain his steady level from the US Open, his solid forehand and incredible foot speed should be enough to get him past Cilic.

Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in four sets.

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Published 27 Sep 2020, 15:26 IST
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