Following impressive straight sets victories on both ends, Andy Murray and Marin Cilic have aligned once again for their twelfth meeting on the professional tour. While Murray once held a dominant stranglehold over the series, he lost the most recent meeting to Cilic in Rotterdam this season. The Croat has since become a bonafide Grand Slam champion, which will certainly add to the appeal of this upcoming encounter.
Wildcard entrant Andy Murray reached the quarter-final stage in Beijing with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. Murray struck 3 aces, won 73% of his first serve points, and broke serve 5 times in 10 opportunities to secure the win in 80 minutes.
Murray is currently sitting in 10th position in the Race to London for the Barclays World Tour Finals. He boosted his chances to reach the year-end finals for a seventh consecutive time yet will need to follow up with strong showings in Beijing and Shanghai to secure one of the remaining 5 spots in the draw.
Murray will next face fourth seed Marin Cilic, who defeated Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-final round. Cilic saved the two break points he faced on serve and won 78% of his first serve points to close out the match in 71 minutes.
Murray holds a comfortable 9-2 lead in the head-to-head series against Cilic, including 5-2 on hard courts. They most recently crossed paths in the quarter-final round of the Rotterdam Open, where Cilic earned his second career win over the Scot. Cilic’s only win prior to that came at the 2009 U.S. Open and he was on course for another New York upset of Murray in 2012. This match will likely be a far more competitive affair than any of their previous meetings, as the result will greatly impact both men’s chances of reaching the Barclays World Tour Finals in London.
Prediction: Marin Cilic in Three Sets