Attachment: Marin Cilic vs. Steve Johnson
Date: 19th October 2020
Competition: Bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Round: First round
Conference location: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hard court
Prize money: 325.610 €
Game time: Approx. 8 pm CEST, 11.30 pm IS
Live broadcast: USA – Tennis Channel
Marin Cilic vs Steve Johnson preview
Marin Cilic, number 40 in the world, will face American Steve Johnson in the first round of the Bett1Hulks championship in Cologne on Monday.
Cilic’s form in 2020 was a far cry from the results he had a few years ago. The Croatian has not won four games in a tournament this season and is struggling with inconsistencies on all surfaces.
After a sub-par run on American hard courts and European sand, Cilic arrived in Cologne last week to cause damage with his big serve and ground strokes on the indoor hard courts. But he could not maintain his level against the not seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarterfinals and lost the match, although he had a set lead.
The former US Open champion will try to do better the second time in Cologne as he runs the risk of falling out of the top 50 in the world rankings.
World number 68 Steve Johnson, for his part, will be hungry after a completely normal 2020 season to perform well in Cologne. The first-round win he scored against Filip Krajinovic, the fifth seed, last week would have given him a certain confidence to do just that.
Marin Cilic head to head against Steve Johnson
The meeting in Cologne is the sixth between the two players, and Marin Cilic is currently leading the duel 5-0 against Steve Johnson.
The couple last met in 2018 at Roland Garros, where Cilic won 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The Croatian has only lost one set to Johnson in his five games, which suggests his game suits the Americans well.
Marin Cilic vs. Steve Johnson prediction
Marin Cilic is the clear favorite in this game due to his head-to-head record. But there are currently certain weaknesses in Cilic’s game that Steve Johnson wants to exploit.
The Croatian has large serve and flat base strokes that are particularly effective indoors, but he is prone to mental breakdowns during play. Johnson has a pretty good serve himself, so any mistakes by Cilic on Monday could prove costly.
The American would also try to move Cilic up and down with his disk; The Croatian has to be ready for many variations from the other side of the net on Monday. That said, if Cilic is in his game he should have enough firepower to hold off the Johnson threat.
forecast: Marin Cilic wins in three sets.
Published on October 19, 2020, 2:11 am IST
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