Eighteen-year-old Felix Auger Aliassime may have hit the shot of the tournament on Thursday, but it was Marin Cilic who had the last laugh, as the No. 6 seed cruised to a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 victory in Washington D.C.
Fully aware of the young Canadian’s ability, Cilic was locked in from the beginning, breaking the Auger-Aliassime serve in the first game of the match. Cilic is one of the best returners on tour, and he feasted on Auger-Aliassime’s second serve. The Croat won an insurmountable 72% of second-serve return points to clinch the third-round meeting.
Shockingly, world No. 22 Auger-Aliassime is the highest ranked player Cilic has defeated in what's been a relatively disappointing 2019 campaign. He advanced to the quarterfinal round for the first time since Madrid in May, his only other last eight appearance of the season.
Cilic will face the winner of hometown favorite Frances Tiafoe and third-seeded Daniil Medvedev.