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INTERVIEW: Marin Cilic, former Australian Open finalist
Before each day's play in Melbourne, we'll preview three must-see matches.
Tsitsipas has beaten Fritz in their only career meeting, three years ago.

Tsitsipas has beaten Fritz in their only career meeting, three years ago.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Taylor Fritz

Another big event, another chance for Fritz to put his game up against a top player from his generation. At Indian Wells last fall, Fritz came out on the winning end of two of those encounters, against Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini. A win over Tsitsipas would definitely make it feel like a trend, and make it feel as if Fritz was starting to belong with those guys.

Obviously it won’t be easy. Tsitsipas won his only tour meeting with the American, in 2019; he’s been the semifinals twice in Australia; and Fritz is coming off a five-set war of attrition with Roberto Bautista Agut. This might not be the ideal place and moment for Fritz to face Tsitsipas, but there might not be a better one. Winner: Fritz

Simona Halep vs. Alizé Cornet

If you like speed, rallies, feistiness and facial expressions—and who doesn’t, really?—this should be the match for you. The 30-year-old Halep leads the 32-year-old Cornet 3-1 in their head-to-head, but they haven’t faced off for seven years. Neither will overpower the other; both will “fight for every ball and fight to the end,” as Halep likes to say; and both will show every bit of their joy and frustration. Cornet is suddenly surging, but Halep is still the better player. Winner: Halep

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Make your picks, and you could win big

Make your picks, and you could win big

Think you know what'll happen at Roland Garros? Tell us in our Match Point Predictor.

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Marin Cilic

This is interesting, and tough to call. Auger-Aliassime has beaten three good opponents—Ruusuvuori, Davidovich Fokina and Evans—and looked progressively better with each match. The 21-year-old’s star also seems to be on the rise at the majors; he reached his first quarterfinal at Wimbledon last summer, and his first semifinal at the US Open two months later. But the 33-year-old Cilic may have even looked even better in his last match, a convincing four-set win over No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev; it was among the best performances of Cilic’s career. He is also 3-0 against Auger-Aliassime. Put all of that together and…this one could go either way. Winner: Cilic