Fixture: David Goffin vs Marin Cilic
Date: 16 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
David Goffin vs Marin Cilic preview
David Goffin and Marin Cilic will clash in the second round of the Rome Masters on Wednesday, as the players continue their preparations for the upcoming French Open.
Ranked No. 11 in the world, Goffin will be making his first appearance at the tournament this year after a first round bye. He is 4-2 since the tour returned in August, including a fourth round finish at the US Open - where he lost to young Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
Goffin's opponent, the 31-year-old Marin Cilic, was once ranked No. 3 in the world but is currently down to No. 40. The Croat reached the third round of the US Open, a tournament he has won in the past, but was beaten by eventual champion Dominic Thiem.
David Goffin vs Marin Cilic head-to-head
The match in Rome will be the eighth career meeting between these two players on the professional circuit. David Goffin currently leads the head-to-head against Marin Cilic by a margin of 4-3.
Goffin won the first three meetings between the two, before Cilic came back to take the next three - including a straight-sets win over the Belgian at this same event in 2017.
Goffin did, however, manage to win their most recent encounter - at the Swiss Indoors in Basel last year.
David Goffin vs Marin Cilic prediction
This is going to be a tough match between two players who are now veterans on the tour - albeit not by Roger Federer standards. Marin Cilic has been on the tour since 2005, while David Goffin turned pro in 2009.
In the first two events on the American hardcourts, both players fared just about alright. But they have both had their career's best results on hardcourts - Goffin finishing runner-up at the season-ending ATP Finals in 2017, while Cilic winning the US Open in 2014 and reaching the Australian Open final in 2018.
That said, neither of them is a pushover on clay. Goffin and Cilic have won at least one title each on the surface, and have also been to the quarterfinals of the French Open in the past.
With the return of the tour after such a long layoff, it's hard to predict any result with certainty. But one thing that Cilic does have in his favor is that he already has a match under his belt on clay - having won his first round match in Rome 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 over Alexander Bublik. That would have made him a little more acclimatized to the conditions in Rome, giving him a slight edge over his rival.
Prediction: Marin Cilic to win in three sets.Published 16 Sep 2020, 01:25 IST