Nitto ATP Finals Preview & Prediction: Alexander Zverev vs Marin Cilic

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On paper, Group Guga Kuerten looks the harder of the two groups at the Nitto ATP Finals, so this makes the opening match incredibly crucial for both Sascha Zverev and Marin Cilic.

The Croat is appearing in London for the fourth time but he has never made it past the round robin stage, and that stat will be playing in Cilic’s mind. He lost all three matches and was eliminated at the group stage last year. His 1-8 record over his last three appearances is also another worrying feat.

However, the World No.7 has pointed out he has had the best preparation possible for this event, and his performances in Paris two weeks ago, which included ending Novak Djokovic’s 30-set winning streak will offer plenty of heart that he could go far this week.

Cilic will meet Alexander Zverev for the second straight year in London. Zverev overcame the Croat in three sets last year and he boasts a 5-1 winning record against the former US Open champion. The German has won another Masters 1000 title this year and he looks the most likely player to become a first time Grand Slam winner over the next few years.
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Prediction: This feels like a match up which Marin Cilic just simply cannot win. His lone victory was against a rookie Zverev back in 2015, and ever since the German has always come on top in there next five matches. If history is anything to go by, then I am inclined to pick Zverev to win this match again. However, I would be worried if I was a Zverev fan. He has lost to Robin Haase, Kohlschreiber, Malek Jaziri and Marius Copil during the last two months, and he looked out of sorts in Paris. I think smart money would be on Cilic for this one.

Pick: Cilic in three

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