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The Pick: Carlos Alcaraz vs. Marin Cilic, ATP Estoril
The promising teenager will hope to start off his Estoril campaign with a first-round win over the struggling Marin Cilic.
Published Apr 26, 2021
Teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz advanced through the Estoril qualifying without much trouble, earning straight set wins over Tallon Griekspoor and Carlos Taberner. He’ll now enter his first-round matchup with Marin Cilic as a solid -200 favorite, according to the oddsmakers.
Since 2020, Alcaraz has notched 40 wins across all levels on clay including three Challenger titles, and an ATP semifinal two weeks ago in Marbella, Spain. Cilic, on the other hand, is just 2-6 on clay in the same time span.
It’s no secret that the Croatian has struggled to find his form now for the better part of two years, while Alcaraz is on the rise—and certainly one of the ATP’s most promising young prospects.
But Cilic can still hit the ball huge, and despite his sub-par results, has given himself plenty of chances in his recent matches. He’ll likely be content in the backhand to backhand rallies.
Plus, Cilic can still earn plenty of free points on serve. But when it comes time to win a crucial point, the 2014 US Open champion has been a shell of his former self.
Look for the 17-year-old, who doesn’t sell himself short on a single shot, to yank the 32-year-old around the court with his assertive forehand.
Cilic will likely give himself plenty of break point chances, but Alcaraz’s confidence on clay will be difficult for the world No. 42 to overcome.
The Pick: Carlos Alcaraz