In the other match in Group Guga Kuerten, Marin Cilic and John Isner will be seeking to avoid elimination from the tournament when they play on Wednesday evening. Cilic will have the opportunity to improve on his poor record at the O2 while Isner seeks a first win at the event overall.
Cilic will have been disappointed to have lost in straight sets, having held a break lead in both sets against Alexander Zverev on Monday. The German took control in both tiebreaks to take the advantage and put himself in with a good chance of qualifying along with Novak Djokovic. “I felt that he started to play a bit better (from 0-3). He served towards the end of the set quite good. I think it could have gone both ways and just generally I felt that I was playing well, just I was not capitalizing on my chances.” a disappointed Cilic said. “In these kind of matches, if you don’t take your chances, that is unfortunately the way it goes.
It was a rough welcome for Isner to the season ending tournament as a dominant Novak Djokovic performance saw him lose in straight sets. He was never really competitive while Djokovic made inroads on the Isner serve on far more service games than expected. “I got my ass kicked. That was pretty comprehensive out there. Certainly there are some things I have to try and keep improving and the beauty of this format is I’m definitely still alive.” Isner said afterwards.
It’s fair to say that Isner will have an easier time on court this time round with Cilic a vulnerable opponent, even if the Croatian has to be considered the favourite. Cilic is 7-3 against Isner although the tide has been turning in recent years with just one win in the last four meetings. “I just I feel with my game that I need to be more stubborn, a little bit more consistent when having also a lead.” Cilic said on what he needs to improve. Should he find himself in trouble again, his poor record at the World Tour Finals may begin to play on his mind.
Prediction – Marin Cilic in three sets