On Tuesday afternoon, the reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic was able to earn his first professional win of 2015 at this year’s Monte Carlo Masters event. Following the relieving victory for the Croat, he will set his sights on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom has faced on four previous occasions and leads 3-1 in the head-to-head series.
Although it was a match that required three sets to complete, Marin Cilic was able to put away Argentina’s Florian Mayer to secure the pivotal win for himself on the ATP World Tour. He won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in a solid performance for a player coming off a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He has been away from the tour since he suffered a shoulder injury during the IPTL exhibition tournaments in December.
However, the eighth seed looked to be in much better shape now, as he struck eight aces, 43 winners, won 76% of his first service points and saved four break points to close out the contest in one hour and 40 minutes.
While locked in a competitive battle for the majority of the match, France’s Tsonga was able to find the necessary openings in both sets to close out the victory against David Goffin. In the first set, the break of serve came late, but was later accompanied by an early break in the second frame to give Tsonga the 6-3, 6-4 win. The Frenchman hit five aces, won 71% of his first service points and saved all four of the break points he faced on serve to bring an end to the proceedings in one hours and 24 minutes.
This marks the fifth time that Cilic and Tsonga will meet on the professional tour, with Cilic leading the series 3-1. While both are coming off their respective injury woes, it is difficult to predict who will be better prepared for their upcoming meeting. If one is to suggest the more capable clay court performer, then it is Tsonga who should edge out the victory in three sets to bring the head-to-head series to a more competitive stance.
Prediction: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Three Sets