Nitto ATP Finals Preview & Prediction: Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic was first player to qualify to semifinals of 2018 Nitto ATP Finals following his victory over Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic’s subsequent win over Joh Isner later during the evening on Wenesday. With his spot in the last four secured, Djokovic may use this match to fine-tune his already impeccable tennis.

Marin Cilic had to come from a set down to defeat big-serving American John Isner in three tight sets to keep his semifinal hopes alive. He will also be boosted by his recent good form against Djokovic. The Croat saved a match point before beating Djokovic in the championship match at Queens in June, and despite losing to the Serb in Bercy, Cilic was able to put an end to Djokovic’s 30-set winning streak. His victory over John Isner in the previous match was Cilic’s second win at the ATP finals in his four appearances at the event.

The 30-year-old Cilic, whose record against Djokovic does not make for pretty good reading (2-16), will have the most difficult assignment if he wants to progress to the semifinals. Djokovic may not even come out from first gear, but there is a sense that he will want to keep the momentum going bearing in mind that the semifinals will be played 24 hours after this match. That, coupled with the fact that he wants to confirm top spot in the group should spur the Serb to put in another professional performance.
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Prediction: This has been one of the most one-sided rivalries between two top 10 players. Novak Djokovic has been clinical this week and he will take some stopping. Cilic won all his points at the net during his match against Isner, and he will have to take a similar risk against Djokovic. The Croat is one of a few players that can outhit Djokovic in terms of power from the forehand side, but then again Del Potro showed even that is not enough during the US Open final. Djokovic is one of those special players that don’t come around too often. But I have a feeling Cilic will defy the odds and halt the Djokovic juggernaut for the moment.

Pick: Cilic in 3

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