The third round is when all-seed matchups begin to emerge in the draw and one of the most interesting on the men’s side is that of Dominic Thiem and 2014 champion Marin Cilic. Thiem will be the favourite going into this one but will have to be wary against an opponent still capable of strong performances on faster surfaces.
Watch the Thiem vs Cilic Live Stream Here.
Cilic will need to improve on his opening two matches though if he is to advance further through the tournament. He was two sets down to Denis Kudla before winning in five and also dropped a set to Norbert Gombos in round two. The Croatian has had an up and down time in New York since winning his only slam, making it past the quarter finals twice but also suffering two third round exits.
Thiem’s return to the tour was unconvincing, losing a one-sided affair to Filip Krajinovic in the Western & Southern Open. He hasn’t dropped a set through two rounds here but it is hard to take much from matches where he faced an injured Jaume Munar and a lowly Sumit Nagal. He broke seven times in the 6-3 6-3 6-2 win against the Indian and was fairly pleased afterwards. “I was playing well today, I had a good plan for the match. He’s very dangerous when he can dictate with his forehand. I was exactly trying to avoid that. He also has very, very fast legs… I was trying to play my fastest tennis to keep him on the backhand, to not let him dictate with the forehand. I did that very well today.” he said after.
Thiem may have to slug this one out against an opponent who could dictate things at his best. They have met twice before with the No. 2 seed winning both matches in straight sets on the hard courts in Canada and Australia. He is not getting complacent still, despite this record. “Even though, for sure, he’s not on the top of his game, he’s always dangerous for a deep run in these big tournaments. He’s not a guy I want to face in the third round as he’s a former champion. On a good day, he can beat anybody. It’s going to be a real tough one.” he said on Cilic.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in four sets