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Singapore Open 2021: Marin Cilic vs Taro Daniel preview, head-to-head and prediction

Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (3) Marin Cilic vs Taro Daniel

Date: 24 February 2021

Tournament: Singapore Tennis Open

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Singapore

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $300,000

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Discovery

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Marin Cilic vs Taro Daniel preview

Former World No. 3 Marin Cilic is the third seet at this week's Singapore Tennis Open - one of the events granted a special one-year license by the ATP tour in 2021.

Cilic has experienced a significant dip in form of late, and is now ranked No. 44 in the world. The 32-year-old will be hoping to rediscover his winning touch after suffering two opening-round exits during the Australian summer, including the Australian Open.

Taro Daniel in action on Day 1 of the Singapore Tennis Open
Taro Daniel in action on Day 1 of the Singapore Tennis Open

After a bye in the first round, Marin Cilic will take on Japan's Taro Daniel. Daniel is currently ranked No. 120, which is well below his career-best ranking of No. 64 (which he achieved in 2018).

While he lost his first-round match at the Australian Open tune-up event in Melbourne, Taro Daniel did win three matches to qualify for the first Major of the season. He was beaten by American Maxime Cressy in the first round of the Australian Open.


Marin Cilic vs Taro Daniel head-to-head

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Marin Cilic and Taro Daniel have never played each other on the ATP tour, so their official head-to-head stands at 0-0.


Marin Cilic vs Taro Daniel prediction

Marin CIlic
Marin CIlic

While the second-round encounter will be Marin Cilic's first match this week, Taro Daniel came through a tough first-round match on Monday. The Japanese, who was among the players placed in hard quarantine prior to the Australian Open, needed three sets to oust India's Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3.

Daniel has been playing a lot of matches in recent months, but mostly in qualifying and the Challenger circuit. His efforts were rewarded with an ATP Challenger title at the end of last season.

Cilic, meanwhile, has struggled to advance to the latter stages of tournaments ever since the tour resumed in August. The former US Open champion hasn't reached a single quarterfinal in the last six months, but a win in the second round at Singapore will help him accomplish just that.

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Cilic will need to ensure his big serve is working at its best against Daniel. If the Croat can get a high percentage of first serves in and back them up with his booming groundstrokes, he should be able to win this match.

Prediction: Marin Cilic to win in three sets.

Published 22 Feb 2021, 15:22 IST
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