Mar 28, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Marin Cilic (CRO) hits a forehand against Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)(not pictured) in a third round men’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
- Andrey Rublev and Marin Cilic meet Wednesday (10am ET) for a spot in the French Open semifinals
- Cilic, the No. 20 seed, upset No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round on Monday
- Rublev is the slight favorite; read on as we break down the matchup and pick a winner
Neither Andrey Rublev nor Marin Cilic – especially Marin Cilic – was expected to be among the final eight at this year’s French Open.
Both were way down the list of pre-tournament favorites. And yet they will be fighting for a spot in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Rublev’s prospects have improved the most of any of the players since the tournament began. But he’s still down the list.
Rublev vs Cilic Odds
| Alexander Rublev (RUS)||-1.5 (-113)||-137||O 38.5 (-118)|
| Marin Cilic (CRO)||+1.5 (-107)||+116||U 38.5 (-104)|
Odds as of May 31 at Barstool Sportsbook
Cilic, the only player in the final eight to own a Grand Slam title other than Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal (he has one, the 2014 US Open), had a lull in the middle of his career.
But at 33, now the father of two, he is having a bit of a renaissance, even though anyone who knows him didn’t want to face him on court – at any point in his career.
Rublev vs Cilic Head-to-Head
|24 (Oct. 20, 1997)||Age||33 (Sept. 28, 1988)|
|Hamburg, Germany||Birthplace||El Palmar, Murcia, Spain|
|11||Career ATP Singles Titles||20|
|No. 5 (Sept. 13, 2021)||Career High Ranking||No. 6 (May 9, 2022)|
|No. 7||Current Ranking||No. 23|
|$11,652,136||Career Prize Money||$29,829,383|
|29-7||2022 Won/Loss record||17-11|
|4||Career Head to Head||2|
Cilic Ousts Medvedev in Straight Sets
When Daniil Medvedev got through the first three rounds without losing a set, there was certainly hope that the No. 2 seed might live up to his seeding, on his least-favorite surface and with little prep, and balance out the bottom of the draw.
The top half, with Djokovic, Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, was loaded.
But against Cilic, who strolled to the fourth round with a very friendly draw, Medvedev showed why he still has a long way to go.
And Cilic, in his 15 previous French Opens, has nearly always only lost to the very best players, with a couple of first-round hiccups.
In his last five appearances, he was beaten by Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Murray.
It took him just one hour, 45 minutes to run Medvedev out of the tournament.
Cilic broke Medvedev five times in seven chances. Medvedev didn’t have a single break-point chance on Cilic’s serve.
Rublev vs Cilic Match History
|2022||Australian Open (R32)||Outdoor Hard||7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3||Cilic|
|2021||Cincinnati (R32)||Outdoor Hard||5-7, 6-3, 6-1||Rublev|
|2021||Miami (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-4, 6-4||Rublev|
|2019||Moscow (SF)||Indoor Hard||7-5, 6-4||Rublev|
|2019||Miami (R64)||Outdoor Hard||6-4, 6-4||Rublev|
|2015||Geneva (R16)||Outdoor Clay||4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-1||Cilic|
Rublev Wins on Sinner Retirement
The No. 7 seed didn’t have much of a clay-court season – except in Belgrade, where he won the tournament over a worn-out Djokovic in the final.
His fourth-round match against young Italian Jannik Sinner was expected to be a battle.
But Sinner, who brought a knee issue into the match (one that was evident in his third-round win over Mackenzie McDonald), retired early in the third set to hand Rublev the victory.
Jannik Sinner is forced to retire
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 30, 2022
It was a free pass the Russian will want to take advantage of.
Like Medvedev, clay doesn’t really suit Rublev. But he made a run to the quarterfinals in the October edition in Paris, back in 2020. Last year, he was shocked in the first round, in five sets, by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
Head-to-Head in Rublev’s Favour
Rublev and Cilic, a decade apart, have only met once on clay. And it was their first meeting, when Rublev had yet to turn 18.
After that, the Russian had his way in four consecutive matches on hard courts. But back in January, Cilic beat him in four sets in the third round of the Australian Open.
There will be many more majors for Rublev. For Cilic, the sands are running through the hourglass. And with the inexperienced Holger Rune and Casper Ruud in the other quarterfinal in his half of the draw, there has never been a better opportunity for him to sneak into a Grand Slam final.
After that, anything can happen. Experience and circumstances might carry the day for the Croat.
Go for the upset in this one. And if you’re looking for an extra prop bet – go under 38.5 games (-104).
Best Bet: Cilic in Four Sets (+500)
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Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.