TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Marin Cilic takes on Karen Khachanov in the semifinal on Saturday, January 8th, 2022.
Will Marin Cilic book his spot in another ATP final after last year’s resurgence? Or will Karen Khachanov reach his first tour-level final since the 2018 Paris Masters? There will be a lot at stake as these two players go toe-to-toe in an enthralling semifinal showdown at the 2022 Adelaide Open.
Marin Cilic recorded a landmark win in defeating Thiago Monteiro in the second round of the 2022 Adelaide Open. It was his 550th match win on the ATP Tour joining an illustrious club that features the Big Four quartet of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The Croat did not rest on his laurels and kept his run going with a near-flawless performance against Laslo Djere on Friday. Cilic was in cruise control throughout the afternoon, needed just 68 minutes to power his way into the last four. He won 25 from 29 first-serve points and did not face a single breakpoint in the match. He also broke his Serbian opponent three times from seven chances to confirm his progress.
Karen Khachanov, meanwhile, has looked like a man on a mission at this week’s Adelaide Open. The Russian is chasing for that elusive first ATP final since the end of the 2018 season. Khachanov memorably won the Paris Masters that year, defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. But he has never been in another championship match on the ATP Tour since then. Last year he competed in the gold medal match at the Tokyo Olympics but lost to Alexander Zverev. The onus is certainly on him to put an end to this drought, and his latest win over Egor Gerasimov should instill him with plenty of confidence of taking down Marin Cilic on Saturday.
Marin Cilic leads Karen Khachanov 2-0 in their head-to-head. Both those matches went the distance including last year’s Round of 16 meeting in St. Petersburg, where the Croat emerged victorious en route to the title. There tends to be an odd week on the calendar where Marin Cilic seems unplayable. The Adelaide Open could turn out to be just that. Cilic has served incredibly well in his two matches, facing a combined two break points and is yet to be broken. Khachanov, for his part, has looked shaky and just doesn’t exhibit any level of restraint in his game. On current form, Cilic should win here, but only just.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Marin Cilic in 3 sets.
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