Thiem vs Cilic US Open tennis live streaming, preview and predictions

hannahwilks in US Open 05 Sep 2020
Dominic Thiem has yet to drop a set at the 2020 US Open (PA Images)

US Open hopeful Dominic Thiem faces former champion Marin Cilic for a place in the last 16 in New York on Saturday.

Thiem vs Cilic is live from New York on Saturday 5 September, 8.30pm local/1.30am BST

Second-seeded Dominic Thiem has breezed through the first two rounds at the 2020 US Open, being played behind closed doors in New York, but the Australian Open finalist has yet to be meaningfully tested.

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The 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic has never beaten Thiem, nor has he exhibited inspiring form for the past season or so, but the big-serving Croatian will never be a player to be disregarded. Could he turn the clock back on Arthur Ashe Stadium?

Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.

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Thiem vs Cilic: Head-to-head

Dominic Thiem has a 2-0 record against Marin Cilic. The Austrian has also won the last four sets they played against each other.

The most recent match between Thiem and Cilic was at the Canada Masters in 2019. Thiem won 7-6(7), 6-4.

Thiem vs Cilic: Preview

Dominic Thiem got his first completed match win since the ATP Tour resumed over Sumit Nagal at the US Open on Thursday, beating the Indian 6-3, 6-3, 6-2, but it still feels difficult to get a real handle on the Austrian’s form – he has yet to face a real test, having progressed past Jaume Munar in the first round when the Spaniard retired trailing 6-7(6), 3-6.

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Marin Cilic might provide a real test, as a three-time Grand Slam finalist and former US Open champion who has been ranked as high as world no. 3 in his time. His current ranking of world no. 38 reflects a lacklustre 2019 season, in which he nevertheless made the last 16 at the Australian and US Opens; he also made the last 16 at the Australian Open in January, ousting seeds Benoit Paire and Roberto Bautista Agut on the way, despite not having played very well in the run-up to the tournament nor its aftermath.

Marin Cilic has played nine sets in two matches at the US Open so far (PA Images)

Cilic lost his only warm-up match for the US Open 3-6, 3-6 to Denis Shapovalov, but has been playing himself into form – or something like it – with lengthy early matches against two players ranked outside the top 100, coming back from two sets down to beat world no. 111 Denis Kudla before beating world no. 104 Norbert Gombos in four.

Having to struggle like that against Challenger players doesn’t look great for Cilic’s chances against a top-5 player like Thiem; Cilic is actually on an eight-match losing streak against top-5 players since beating Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 2018. The Croatian’s big serve and powerful groundstrokes off both wings will always command respect, but unless he can figure out a way to consistently attack the net and punish Thiem for hanging miles behind the baseline, he’s going to find himself outlasted and outslugged by the Austrian’s ability to generate immense power from defensive court positioning. Given that their only recent-ish meeting was 13-10 by games, I would anticipate a tight straight-sets win for Thiem or perhaps a triumph for the Austrian in four sets.

Thiem vs Cilic: Prediction

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