Marin Cilic will now face the 2009 champion none other than Roger Federer for a third-round spot at the French Open 2021 in Paris. The 2014 US Open title winner has anticipated that the second round clash will be a challenge for him and his opponent.
Roland Garros Round 64 match will be the first meeting between Federer and Cilic since the 2018 Australian Open championships match, where Swiss bested Croatian in the five-setters to capture his 20th Grand Slam title.
Federer leads Cilic 9-1 in their head-to-head series. But the former World No.3 has foreseen that the upcoming encounter will be the most brutal for a 39-year-old from Basel due to his lack of consistency on the ATP Tour in recent days.
“It’s going to be definitely different playing in the second round than the quarters or semis of a Grand Slam tournament. I was expecting to play either the first round or second round against a seeded guy. It’s going to be a challenge for both me and also definitely for Roger. It’s not going to be easy. He hasn’t played too much,” Marin Cilic said in the pre-match interview.
Swiss has a win-loss record of 2-2 in 2021, while Croatian won 9 out of 19 matches he played this year.
“Hats Down To Roger For His Motivation”, says Marin Cilic
Swiss Maestro will celebrate his 40th birthday on 8th August. The three-time Grand Slam finalist emphasised that Federer is still one of the quickest players in the men’s tennis circuit, and ageing does not impact his style of play.
Cilic continued, “Hats down to Roger for his motivation and his level these past several years. Absolutely, when you see him playing, you don’t feel that he is almost 40 years old, the way he moves, the way he hits the ball. The way he actually plays the game is. Still, I would say, one of the quickest on the Tour. No matter the age, Roger has the formula.”
Federer defeated Uzbek qualifier Denis Istomin in straight sets(6-2, 6-4, 6-3) in the opening round. On the flip side, Cilic overcame host Arthur Rinderknech without dropping a set(7-6, 6-1, 6-2).