TennisSection previews the 2021 Toronto Open as Casper Ruud takes on Marin Cilic in the Round of 32 on Tuesday, August 10th, 2021.
Will Marin Cilic pull off the upset? Will Casper Ruud show that he can excel on hard courts just as well as he does on the clay? This match-up will be an interesting one, where we will see one of the most in form players at ATP events this year vs. a veteran of the tour who has had great success on the hard courts of North America. Who will move on to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Toronto Open?
Marin Cilic has had a relatively okay year considering recent injuries taking him out of the tour for a little while. Marin has a much different game than Casper Ruud, using extremely flat groundstrokes vs. a guy who likes to put an incredible amount of topspin on his shots. A match-up like this can go many different ways, however, this one doesn’t seem particularly favorable for Cilic. Considering what success Ruud has just had, it would be hard for him to outhit the extremely confident Norwegian. If he does want to win here at the 2021 Toronto Open, he’ll have to serve very big, and playing lots of first strike tennis to put pressure on Casper. Otherwise, it’ll definitely be a challenge for him, but I do see him being able to cause the upset just because Casper hasn’t had a lot of success on hard courts.
Casper Ruud, as mentioned before has unbelievable topspin, actually getting the most average topspin on his shots in 2020. Even more than Rafael Nadal who is known for incredible topspin who placed third that year (if you’re wondering who played second it was Matteo Berrettini). With numbers like that, he is a very different player compared to Marin Cilic, even still, he’s able to rip a harder flatter ball, particularly off the forehand wing to put his opponents in danger. I suspect that Casper will use lots of topspin to create angles and push Cilic deep into the court, where he’ll then be able to take his incredible closing skills to put Cilic away. However, it definitely won’t be a straightforward victory, with a playstyle like Marin Cilic, you can have a day where it’s almost impossible to stop you from ripping the ball and hitting incredible winners. Still, Casper Ruud should be filled with confidence ahead of this match-up, where he will hope to go through to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Toronto Open.
Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic have met once before, with Casper Ruud leading the head to head 1-0. Their one and only meeting came last year at the 2020 Rome Open, with Ruud winning in a straightforward 2 sets to go through. That match was of course on the clay, however, he did win the first set 6-2, and if he was able to do that on the clay where he was playing worse than now, there’s a good chance he can transfer that over to hard courts and power through Marin Cilic, using his great topspin to throw Cilic off, and really blow him off the court. Casper will hope to serve well as well, as that’s one of the bigger question marks of his game, if he’s able to do that, I think he should be feeling very comfortable about his match tomorrow, but we’ll see if Marin Cilic can put up a good fight for a spot in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Toronto Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Casper Ruud to Win.
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