Following their respective matches on Wednesday afternoon, the stage is set for an intriguing third round clash at the Wimbledon Championships between reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic and American No. 1 John Isner. This marks the fifth time that the two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Cilic leading the head-to-head series with an unblemished 4-0 record.
Follow the match: Isner vs Cilic Live
In arguably the match of the tournament so far, Marin Cilic was forced to rally to avoid an upset from Ricardas Berankis, whom he defeated in five sets in a thrilling encounter on Centre Court. Cilic was reeling late in the match but was able to save all four of the break points he faced in the final set to edge out the victory 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-5 after Bernakis double faulted on match point.
“The match was very, very high quality match,” said Cilic. “I think Ricardas was playing extremely well. Even after I broke him in the first set, I think he was playing really, really good until the end of the match, and [it was] very difficult to find some openings.
“I’m just really glad that I won and that the most positive things from today are that I was serving really, really well and I was staying mentally in the match. I saved a couple of break points at end of the fifth, and I think nerves got to Ricardas at the end, and that, I think, decided a little bit.”
Isner is once again through to the third round at the Championships following a straight sets win against Matt Ebden. He struck 49 winners and 323 aces to win the match 6-2, 7-6(8), 6-4.
“I think the thing that he does the best, in my opinion, he’s always calm and composed on the court,” Isner said of Cilic. “He’s never getting angry at himself out there. He just stays the path, and it’s paid very big dividends for him in his career, especially last year at the US Open. My opinion, that’s what he does best, along with his serve and groundstrokes. He’s a cool customer out there.”
Prediction: Marin Cilic in Five Sets