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Cilic vs Shapovalov tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Match-fit Shapovalov has a chance to upset Cilic at the Indian Wells Masters

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 12 Mar 2019
  • Marin Cilic faces Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters
  • Cilic vs Shapovalov is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday at 12.30pm local/7.30pm GMT
Marin Cilic (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Marin Cilic’s season so far has been compromised by a knee injury – can he hold off the challenge of Denis Shapovalov in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters?

A knee injury, a lack of recent matches and a tournament that’s never really been a happy hunting-ground for him – is Marin Cilic headed out of the Indian Wells Masters at the hands of Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday?

Marin Cilic (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Cilic finds himself out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016 after being ranked as high as world no. 3 in January 2018. With the exception of helping Croatia to win the last ‘real’ Davis Cup final against France, his post-US Open results in 2018 were not impressive, and his start to 2019 has been blighted by a right knee injury: He played the Australian Open with no warm-up matches after the injury forced him out of Pune, and although he battled gamely to the round of 16 before falling to Roberto Bautista Agut, it still didn’t come close to defending his runner-up points from the previous year.

Cilic also pulled out of Rotterdam due to the knee injury and although he played the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, he was promptly beaten by Gael Monfils.

When you couple this recent injury and consequent lack of matches with Cilic’s unimpressive history at Indian Wells – where he’s failed to win back-to-back matches on nine of his 11 appearances and made just the one solitary quarterfinal, in 2010 when he lost to David Goffin – it definitely explains why the Croatian hasn’t been talked about much as a potential threat to go deep in the draw, which unhelpfully landed him in Roger Federer’s quarter anyway.

Cilic made a solid enough start to his 2019 campaign with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dusan Lajovic on Sunday, but it has to be said that Lajovic didn’t really pose that much of a challenge, serving pretty underwhelmingly in the 94-minute match although he did manage to break Cilic twice.

The tenth seed should be in for a much tougher time of it against Denis Shapovalov on Tuesday.

24th-seeded Shapovalov, who has already made Masters 1000 Series semifinals at the Canada Masters in 2017 and the Madrid Masters in 2018, is making just his second appearance at the Indian Wells Masters after having lost in the second round to Pablo Cuevas last year.

Denis Shapovalov (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
The rising Canadian, who has about a month left as a teenager, won his first Indian Wells match on Sunday against Steve Johnson, scoring a solid win over the American 6-3, 6-4 and racking up some impressive serving stats – exactly the opposite of Lajovic’s – with eight aces and only four points lost behind his first serve throughout the match, saving both break points he faced, although he only won six out of 20 points on his second serve.

‘I stayed really composed in my match today. I think the level was really high from both of us. It was just fun to play in that atmosphere,’ Shapovalov said. 

‘There were so many Canadian fans. I felt like I was playing back in Canada. It was a great environment, great match, and I'm just really, really happy with everything.’

Canadians have been going well at Indian Wells, with Milos Raonic, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu all reaching the third round, but Shapovalov would no doubt dearly love to reach the last 16. A semifinalist at Delray Beach, Tokyo and Madrid in 2018, the world no. 25 is still searching for his first ATP Tour title, but has made a decent start to 2019, defeated in four sets by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and a quarterfinalist at Montpellier and Rotterdam, losing to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Stan Wawrinka respectively.

This will be the second match between Cilic and Shapovalov, the Croatian having beaten the younger man 6-4, 6-2 in Basel last October.

‘Obviously it's a tough one. I haven't thought too much about it. Played him once before, so I kind of have a feel of him going into the match, but he's a tough player,’ Shapovalov said. 

‘He was playing really well, so I'm expecting a battle. I feel good, as well. I'm looking forward to it.’

Given Cilic’s recent injury struggles, and the fact that Shapovalov comes in much more match-sharp after a full schedule so far in 2019, the Canadian might well have the edge – and the opportunity to seize a first top-20 win for the year, as well as making the last 16 at the Indian Wells Masters for the first time.

Cilic vs Shapovalov Indian Wells Masters tennis is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday at 12.30pm local/7.30pm GMT

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Cilic vs Shapovalov tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Match-fit Shapovalov has a chance to upset Cilic at the Indian Wells Masters

Marin Cilic vs Denis Shapovalov live streaming, preview and predictions for the Indian Wells Masters third-round match on Tuesday 11 March: Cilic is rusty after a recent knee injury and has dropped out of the top 10 – is he vulnerable to Shapovalov?

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