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
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
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 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.
Follow Sportskeeda to get the latest French Open 2020 Results and SchedulePublished 27 Sep 2020, 15:26 IST