It’s not often an 18-year-old is tipped as the favorite in a matchup against a former Grand Slam champion. However, given Felix Auger-Aliassime’s meteoric rise—combined with Marin Cilic’s less than ideal results this year—that will probably be the case.
On Tuesday, Cilic squeaked by Marius Copil in two tiebreak sets, and will be looking to win consecutive matches for the first time since early May in Madrid. Auger-Aliassime, who escaped huge-serving Reilly Opelka in three sets on Wednesday, continues to impress after racking up 29 singles wins this season.
Auger-Aliassime and Cilic are facing off for the first time. (Getty Images)
Cilic should provide a fantastic litmus test for the Canadian teenager. In addition to his huge serve, Cilic owns one of the best returns in the game, and will surely put some pressure on the Auger-Aliassime service games. Cilic doesn't have a glaring weakness to speak of, so Auger-Aliassime will need to utilize all of his weapons to dispatch the big Croat.
Cilic knows that Auger-Aliassime is gaining traction as the ATP's next breakout star, with the Montreal native reaching three ATP finals thus far in 2019. This match is a toss up, but given their current form, look for the teenager to defeat Cilic and notch his eighth Top 20 win of the season.