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Cilic vs Pella ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Cilic takes on Pella in tough Monte Carlo opener

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 15 Apr 2019
  • Marin Cilic vs Guido Pella is live from Monte Carlo on Tuesday, 16 April from 12:30pm local time
  • Cilic and Pella have split their two previous meetings
Marin Cilic

Looking to regain some form on clay after a frustrating hard court campaign, former world No. 3, Marin Cilic takes on Argentine, Guido Pella in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. 

Cilic was bothered by a knee injury during the hard court season- he pulled out of his scheduled season opener in Pune, and struggled with the problem in Melbourne, where he played consecutive five-set matches against Fernando Verdasco and Roberto Bautista-Agut, winning the third-round meeting with Verdasco, and falling to Bautista-Agut in the next round.

That knee injury has been recurring for a while now, as it also affected him in Monte Carlo last season, and subsequently forced his withdrawal from the Madrid Open. It has flared up again in 2019, causing serious disruptions to schedule.

Following his Australian Open exit, the Croatian did not play again until Dubai in late February, but he has won just one of four matches since then. That win came against Dusan Lajovic in the opening round at Indian Wells, but he was well beaten by Denis Shapovalov in the next round. Either side of that Indian Wells campaign were opening round exits in Dubai and Miami against Gael Monfils and Andrey Rublev.

His ranking has taken hit due to his injury problems and poor form, with the 30-year-old dropping out of the top-ten in February- the first time he'd been out of that group since October 2016. Cilic isn't too far away as he is currently ranked 11th, but he's got quite a bit to defend during this clay-court swing, including quarter finals in Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, and a semi-final in Rome.

He has actually made the quarter finals in Monte Carlo in each of his last three appearances- can he put together another much needed run this week?

First up Cilic is Argentine, Guido Pella, who booked his second round spot with a very good 6-7 6-2 6-4 victory over Serbia's Laslo Djere in his Monte Carlo opener.

That victory over Djere improved Pella's clay-court record for the season to a very impressive 12-3, as he had enjoyed a very good spell on South African clay earlier in the year. The left-hander claimed his maiden career title in Sao Paolo, while he also made a final in Cordoba (lost to Juan Ignacio Londera), and the semi-finals in Buenos Aires. The one failure on clay so far was his opening round loss to Joao Sousa in Rio. Pella has peaked at a new career-high ranking of 32nd this season, while he goes into this week's tournament at No. 35 in the world.

His record on hard courts was a complete contrast to his clay-court form, as he won just two matches in his five tournaments. Those wins came in Doha and Indian Wells, against Cen Ilkel and Alex Bolt respectively, while he failed to get past the opening rounds in Auckland, the Australian Open and Miami.

Pella has ended each of the last four campaigns inside the top 100, with last year's season-ending ranking of 58th being his best ever finish. Amongst his marquee results from last season were a runner-up finish in Umag, a semi-final in Doha, while he made quarter finals in Buenos Aires, Houston, Geneva and Stuttgart. He also got to the third round at Wimbledon and the US Open.

He lost in the opening round in Monte Carlo though, to Diego Schwartzman, despite taking the opening set 6-0. He has already scaled that first hurdle this year with his victory over Djere- can he go back-to-back by taking down Cilic on Tuesday?

Cilic and Pella have met on two previous occasions, with Cilic winning their first encounter at the 2015 US Open, and Pella scoring a bizarre five-set victory at Wimbledon last season, having trailed by two sets to love.

It's a very tough start for Cilic, who has won just one match since the Australian Open, against Pella, who has been piling on the wins on South American clay.

It's a chance for Pella to score a high-profile victory over former Grand Slam champion- can he take this opportunity?

Marin Cilic vs Guido Pella is live from Monte Carlo on Tuesday, 16 April from 12:30pm local time

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Cilic vs Pella ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Cilic takes on Pella in tough Monte Carlo opener

Marin Cilic faces a difficult start to his Monte Carlo campaign as he takes on Argentine, Guido Pella in the second round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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