Marin Cilic vs. Daniel Medvedev The odds are
|the total||35.5 (-115 / -105)|
|time||2:45 PM ET|
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Daniil Medvedev convinced the world he could play on clay with three convincing wins here at Roland Garros, but now he faces a tough test in the fourth round.
Marin Cilic, like his opponent, has reached this stage of the tournament with a convincing victory over Gilles Simon and Marton Fukowicz. Cilic is hoping he can pick up where he left off the last time he faced Medvedev on tour – when he led him to five sets last year at Wimbledon.
How does this one play out? Let’s discuss below.
Let’s get out of the way early: Medvedev is undefeated in three meetings. However, this is not the end of the article, and it certainly does not mean that this match will not be close.
All three of those encounters were relatively close. Medvedev won 6-4, 7-6 at the Citi Open in 2019 in a match he could have easily scored three times with a long tiebreak in the second set. Cilic took a 2-0 lead over Medvedev at Wimbledon last year before the Russian eventually won the next three sets to seal the match. They met at the Davis Cup later that year and he again played a long tiebreak in the first set before Cilic faded in the second.
The Croat has incredible experience and has amassed a much better resume on clay than his opponent. He has reached the quarter-finals twice at Roland Garros and will appear for the sixth time in the Round of 16 on Monday. While his massive serve and forehand are much better on hard ground, Cilic has proven to be very tough on clay and has set a 7-4 rooftop record this season.
It is always difficult to read Medvedev, but this copy is especially difficult to break. He’s never been someone who likes to play on clay, having entered the season 5-5 on clay for the past two years, which makes perfect sense given his style of play.
The Russian player is an incredible defender and wields his opponents with flat ground strokes through the back of the court, which is simply not a factor on clay. You need to put the ball into Top Spin to get rid of the dirt and you also don’t need to be a good defender to win matches because the surface speed allows you plenty of time to hit the balls.
Medvedev appears to have adapted his game a bit in Paris with some high, squiggly forehands, but just because he beats some inexperienced players doesn’t mean he’s ready for that kind of test. There’s a reason Medvedev was a huge underdog to win this pre-tournament quarter, and while he could make big strides this week, I’ll need to see him prove that against a top-tier player like Cilic.
Cilic will get free points from sending him – that’s inevitable. Medvedev will do the same. The two will have an incredibly tense and close match, which is why I feel Spread Here is the play.
I expect the experience to shine here for Cilic, who has proven to be a good player on clay. I can’t say the same about Medvedev, whose great moments on clay were few and far between. I’m not saying he can’t get there, but he seems to be testing a lot of things this week and playing a former Grand Slam champion in Round 4 at Roland Garros is not a great time to test new things.
Many have been putting Medvedev on angry alert all week, but they haven’t done so here. why not? Cilic is an excellent tennis player who has had a fantastic eight months on all things and is not going to leave them easily.
Picking: Selic +5.5, Selic +250
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