Following their fantastic Wimbledon battle just a few short months ago, Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic will cross paths for the ninth time on the professional tour at the 2014 United States Open. Berdych leads the head-head series 5-3 but is just 1-1 against the Croat this season, having lost that most recent grass court encounter in the third round.
For the second time in his career, Tomas Berdych is through to the quarter-final round of the US Open, following a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday. Berdych fired 10 aces and saved all seven break points he faced to defeat the young Austrian in 1 hour and 38 minutes.
Berdych will next encounter Cilic, who most recently defeated him in the third round of the Wimbledon Championships.
“Marin played a really good match today. He improved a lot this year, and he’s playing well,” said Berdych. “I’m hitting the ball nice and clean. That’s what I need. That’s what’s good for my game. I saved a bit of energy today, which is good, compared to him. Let’s go for another one.”
In a truly valiant effort, Marin Cilic rallied form a set down to defeat Gilles Simon in five sets 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his third quarter-final at the US Open. Cilic hit 23 aces, won 81% of his first service points and a total of 70 winners to set up his ninth encounter with Berdych.
“Tomas is a very dangerous player. He’s very consistent throughout the year,” noted Cilic. “He’s always pushing you to play your best to actually beat him. I hope I’m going to be on a good level of tennis if we are going to match up.
“He’s not unbeatable, but definitely very tough task,” Cilic added. “But for the quarter-finals of a major, I think for both of us this is a good opportunity.”
This is the eighth time the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 5-3. While Cilic will be swelling with confidence from his previous victory over Berdych on grass, as well as his own heroic showing against Simon to topple him in five sets, this could be an epic encounter between the two, and one that Berdych will need to work hard to win.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Five Sets