TennisSection previews the 2022 Cincinnati Masters as Carlos Alcaraz takes on Marin Cilic in the third round on Thursday, August 18th, 2022.
Will Carlos Alcaraz pick up his form just before the US Open? The Spnaish teenage sensation wll face his first major hurdle at the Cincinnati Masters as he takes on former champion Marin Cilic in one of the pick of the third-round matches. Who will prevail?
Carlos Alcaraz made light work of Mackenzie McDonald in his Cincinnati Masters opener. The Spanish phenom recorded a 6-3 6-2 win over the American and improves to 13-3 on hard courts this year. Last week’s defeat to Tommy Paul in Montreal raised a few question marks and particularly after Alcaraz’s admission in his post-match presser he struggled with the pressure of being a second seed. But defeat to Paul has clearly been a learning experience, with Alcaraz responding emphatically in Ohio. He won 85% first-serve points against McDonald and never faced a break point.
Marin Cilic, meanwhile, avoided the upset in his second-round match as he held off a spirited charge by Emil Ruusuvuori to win 6-4 6-7 7-5. The 14th seed rained down 13 aces and despite being outplayed in the second-set tiebreak, found the gumption and tenacity to regroup in a tight third set, earning a crucial break of serve late on to win the match. Cilic, a former champion at the Cincinnati Masters, is now 13-8 on hard courts in 2022 and is seeking to win his first title of the season.
Carlos Alcaraz and Marin Cilic are currently tied 1-1 in their head-to-head. Cilic won the pair’s first meeting in Estoril in 2021, but it was Alcaraz who emerged victorious in their Miami showdown earlier this season. The latter victory was pivotal in Alcaraz’s burgeoning career as he romped to win his first Masters 1000 title just a few days later. Despite boasting over 200 wins on hard courts throughout his career and winning the biggest titles in the sport on the surface, Cilic enters this match as a massive underdog, and rightly so. Alcaraz has been in sensational form in 2022 and especially on hard courts. His rally tolerance is top notch as is his ability to finish off points at will. Expect the number three seed to ease his way into the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Carlos Alcaraz in 2 Sets.
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