World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic will meet in one of the four quarter-final matches on Friday afternoon to determine who will advance to the following stage in Monte Carlo. This marks the 12th meeting between the two competitors, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series with a formidable 11-0 record.
Of all the straightforward matches that took place on Thursday afternoon in Monte Carlo, the top seed had arguably the breeziest of the matches, as he cruised past Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 6-0 in the third round of the tournament. He won 77% of his first service points, 80% of his second serve points and faced no break points en route to the 56 minute win.
“I’ve played quite a lot of matches this year, so I don’t think I’m missing the competitive rhythm on the court; I actually feel confident,” said Djokovic. “I’ve played and won a lot of matches this year, fortunately.
Eighth seed Marin Cilic reached the quarter-final with another staright sets win over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday. He struck 5 aces, won 84% of his first service points and saved the only break point he faced to win the match 6-3, 7-6(5) in one hour and 24 minutes of court time.
“I have Marin Cilic [next], who is a Grand Slam winner, who is playing the tennis of his life… I look forward to that challenge. Obviously now it’s going to get tougher.”
Djokovic holds a dominant 11-0 lead in the head-to-head series and will be looking to remain undefeated en route to the semi-final round of the tournament. Cilic has only ever taken five sets off Djokovic in their eleven meetings on the tour and considering he is returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, he is unlikely to challenge the Serb much this time around.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets
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