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Nadal vs Cilic US Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal faces Cilic in US Open R16

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 2 Sep 2019
  • Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic is live from New York on Monday, 2 September from 7:00pm local time/ 12:00am BST (Tuesay morning)
  • Nadal leads Cilic 6-2 in career meetings
Rafael Nadal. (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM)

World No. 2, Rafael Nadal continues his bid for a fourth US Open title on Monday when he plays 2014 champion, Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

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Nadal is looking to reach the quarter finals at Flushing Meadows for the third straight season, and should he get past Cilic, he would have made at least the last eight in nine consecutive majors, and in 11 out of the last 12 Grand Slams.

The great Spaniard has made serene progress through the US Open draw, opening with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over John Millman, getting a walkover in the second round after Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew with a shoulder injury, and making light work of former Australian Open semi-finalist, Hyeon Chung in the third round on Saturday.

Nadal required just under two hours to complete the 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Chung, dropping just four points on his first serve and facing no break points throughout the contest. The 33-year-old struck 29 winners and 26 unforced errors as he registered his third win in as many matches against Chung.

"I'm happy to be in the fourth round one more time," Nadal said in his on-court interview. "This court is so unique and special with the energy that the crowd brings."

Nadal is attempting to reach his ninth quarter final of the season, having made at least the quarters in eight of his nine previous tournaments in 2019. His three titles have come in Rome, Roland Garros and Montreal, while he reached the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year. The world No. 2 has also made semi-finals at Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Wimbledon, amassing an impressive 42-6 record for the year.

Nadal is currently on a seven-match winning streak, having won Montreal just before US Open- can he keep that run going when he plays Marin Cilic on Monday?

Former top-ten star, Cilic has had a difficult season, as he has not only dropped out of the top-ten, but also fallen out of the top 20. The Croatian is currently ranked 23rd, the lowest he has been since June 2014.

Cilic was bothered by a knee injury towards the end of last year, and the problem spilled over into 2019, forcing the Croatian to pull out of his season opener in Pune. He went on to play the Australian Open, but wasn't at his best physically, and was beaten in five sets by Roberto Bautista-Agut in the fourth round.

It's been a big struggle for the Croatian since then, winning just one of his next six matches, and making just two quarter finals in his next 13 tournaments (Madrid and Washington). 

He arrived Flushing Meadows on a two-match losing streak, having fallen to Dominic Thiem in the third round in Montreal, and to Radu Albot in the opening round in Cincinnati- the fifth time he had failed to cross the first hurdle this season- but he has out together three consecutive wins at Flushing Meadows, the first time he's managed that since a quarter final run in Madrid in May.

The world No. 23 opened with a three-set win over Martin Klizan, before scoring four-set wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and big-serving American, John Isner. He did not play his tidiest match against Isner, as he sent down 16 double faults, but he came up big at the critical junctures of the match, saving three set points at 4-5 in the first set, and two more set points at 4-6 in the third set tie break, before pulling off a 7-5 3-6 7-6 6-4 after three hours and 20 minutes.

Cilic won the US Open in 2014, beating Kei Nishikori in the final to capture his first major, and only one so far. He made a couple more major finals after that, at Wimbledon in 2017 and at the Australian Open in 2018, but he has had a poor Grand Slam year in 2019, in tune with the rest of his season, making the fourth round in Australia, and exiting Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the second round.

Can the Croatian take down Rafael Nadal to make his first Grand Slam quarter final of the season?

“I'm going to have to create chances with Rafa. He's definitely having a great season and playing really well,” Cilic said. “It's going to be on me, on my own side of the court to try to serve well, be a little bit aggressive and try to impose my game as much as I can.”

Nadal leads the head-to-head 6-2, and has won six of their last seven encounters, with his only defeat coming via retirement in the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Generally, the great Spaniard has had the measure of the Croatian. Factor in Cilic’s struggles this season, relative to how well Nadal has been playing, the world No. 2 should again be top good, and take his place in the quarter finals on Monday. 

Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic is live from New York on Monday, 2 September from 7:00pm local time/ 12:00am BST (Tuesay morning)

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Nadal vs Cilic US Open Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal faces Cilic in US Open R16

Rafael Nadal continues his bid for a fourth US Open title with a fourth-round clash with Marin Cilic. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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