Marin Cilic corrects world number two Daniil Medvedev and qualifies for the quarterfinals

Marin Cilic corrects world number two Daniil Medvedev and qualifies for the quarterfinals

So far, the evening sessions at Roland Garros rather they were a success. Rhythm, atmosphere, suspenseful games … Until this Monday, May 30, which saw Daniil Medvedev and Marin Cilic face off on the central court. For their first battle on clay did not make many people vibrate.

Archi-dominated for more than 1:30, the Russian had no illusions about the No. 20 seed, bowing out in three dry sets (6-2, 6-3, 6-2). Under the bewildered eyes of his French coach, Gilles Cervara, the world number two was only a shadow of himself. Her operation for a hernia in early April is probably no stranger to this difficult evening, as Medvedev has not been able to prepare for this season in the best possible way. Quarter-finalist last year, he logically ceded his ticket for the next round to the Croatian, fall of Gilles Simon in the previous round.

Carried by his first ball in the service (88% of points earned on his first service), the No. 20 seed showed regularity in the face of a completely outdated opponent. Marin Cilic will challenge Andrey Rublev, the number seven seed, for a place in the last square of Auteuil.

Before that, however, there was a more promising start to the match between the two men. The first break point of the game at 3-2 in favor of the Croatian was the first turning point. After a Dantesque exchange with more than 20 strokes, Cilic won the rally and offered himself a first chance to take the service of his opponent. The Russian’s direct reverse foul then gave him the advantage, which materialized a few minutes later (6-2, 29 minutes of play).

The two innings that followed then experienced the same scenario: a quick and easy break in favor of the Croatian that unfolded, well helped by the too many direct fouls of his opponent (28 over the entire game), already the mind elsewhere.

In the mixed zone, Marin Cilic returned to his first victory against Daniil Medvedev: “I have a good feeling from Madrid [où il avait battu Albert Ramos-Vinolas avant de s’incliner en trois sets face à Alexander Zverev], tonight I felt good on the court, I moved well, strategically I respected what I wanted to put in place. I stayed focused after easily winning the first set, and after making the break in the second. Against Andrey [Rublev] it’s going to be a different game. We know each other very well, it’s not going to be easy. “

Again, the Croatian will not be the favorite against a player who leads 4 wins to 2 against him. But this time he will be able to rely on a few more reasons for hope. His level of play, already, has taken on a whole new dimension on the surface since the start of the tournament. And another statistic may support his confidence: the only time the two men clashed on clay, he was the one who won (4-6, 7-6, 6-1, in Geneva, in 2015).

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