Marin Cilic is into the second round of the Paris Masters after beating his Canadian opponent in three sets to set up a second-round meeting with Frenchman Corentin Moutet.
Cilic bagels Auger Aliassime
Cilic got off to a great start, earning a break point in the first game of the match as he sensed the Canadian was nervous and struggling to serve. He would end up breaking as Auger-Aliassime would hit five unforced errors in the first game alone.
Once again after holding serve Cilic had more chances to break on the Montreal native’s serve, and the World #21 would double fault to give Cilic a commanding 3-0 lead. It got worse for the #14 seed as he couldn’t seem to get anything going and was being blown off the court.
Cilic served it out at 5-0 and wrap up the first set in just 31 minutes and we wondered if we would see a response from the Canadian or if it was going to be a one-way total domination.
The response from Auger-Aliassime
The Canadian seemed to have put the first set on the back burner and played a much more competitive set in the second. At 3-2 he even had a chance to break the Croat serve forcing an error from his 6’6″ opponent. He would break Cilic’s serve when he hit his second consecutive error to take a 4-2 lead.
We were starting to see what we had seen the last couple of weeks in Cologne, where Auger-Aliassime had made the finals and semifinals in two straight weeks. The Croat responded immediately setting up a breakpoint to go back on serve with a big forehand winner.
He would break, forcing again the error from his Canadian opponent to go back on serve at 4-3. The next game was a long one–21 minutes to be exact–and the #14 seed had six break points before converting on his seventh, to take a 5-3 lead and serve for the second set.
When serving for the second set, the Montreal native encountered a bit of adversity, facing three break points to once again go back on serve. He would save all three of them playing his aggressive style of tennis which would eventually earn him a set point.
He would seal the second set with another big forehand to take it 6-3 to force a third and deciding set.
Marin Cilic takes the decider
Before the third set began, Auger-Aliassime called for the trainer and took a medical timeout to have some work done on his right hip which he seemed to have some discomfort with. The timeout seemed to work in his favor. After three games, Cilic would earn the first break point of the set but the Canadian would save it forcing the error from the World #43.
The Croat would have more break points at 3-2, which he set up brilliantly with a volley winner and would break with another unforced error from the #14 seed to take a 4-2 lead. He would hold serve and have his first two matchpoints on the Canadian serve but Auger Aliassime would save both.
Marin Cilic would serve out the match to take it in three sets, winning match point with a great volley winner.
Main Photo from Getty.