World Tour Finals round-robin preview and pick: Djokovic vs. Cilic

Novak Djokovic is just a few wins away from clinching the year-end No. 1 ranking. He will continue that effort on Monday when he begins his 2014 World Tour Finals campaign against Marin Cilic.

Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic will be going head-to-head for the 11th time in their careers and for the fourth time in 2014 when they do battle in Group A round-robin action at the World Tour Finals on Monday night.

Djokovic warming up for his match

Djokovic is sweeping the head-to-head series 10-0, including 8-0 on hard courts. This season has already seen the world No. 1 prevail 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Indian Wells, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4 at the French Open, and 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Cilic had not been competitive with his nemesis prior to this year aside from a 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(0) setback against Djokovic at the 2008 U.S. Open.

This is Cilic’s first-ever appearance at the year-end championship and it has come almost an entirely as a result of a stunning run to his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows. That being said, the ninth-ranked Croat has been a consistent force on tour from start to finish. His 2014 record stands at 54-18 and it also includes winner’s trophies from Zagreb, Delray Beach, and his most recent event in Moscow.
Cilic 3
Cilic withdrew from the Paris Masters citing an arm injury, but in all likelihood he just wanted some extra rest for his first foray to London.

Even without any physical problems, he would be a heavy underdog for reasons beyond simply his past futility against Djokovic. The Serb is surging into the World Tour Finals on the strength of the Paris title, which was his first tournament as a father. He also triumphed in Beijing earlier this fall. As for Djokovic’s World Tour Finals exploits, he has made seven appearances while collecting an overall record of 19-9 and three titles.

Pick: Djokovic in 2

5 Comments on World Tour Finals round-robin preview and pick: Djokovic vs. Cilic

    • Was his new status as a father the reason he demolished Cilic in under an hour in the second 6:1, 6:1 match of the day?


    “Do these blowout matches prove the equal-pay haters wrong?
    That seemed to be the consensus on Twitter on Monday. “There would be lot of snickering if this happened at the WTA Finals,” more than one person tweeted after the fourth straight 6-1 set had mercifully ended. That’s probably true, but it’s also true that four lopsided matches, whether they’re played by men or women, don’t prove much of anything. You need a slightly larger sample size.

    I’m for equal pay at the Grand Slams, even though the men play three-of-five sets and the women play two-of-three. It’s not unheard of, even at those events, for a woman’s match to last longer than a men’s match that started around the same time—there are epics and blowouts on both tours. But there’s no point in calling attention to it every time it happens, and there’s no point in denying that the men have to win seven more sets to win a Slam. In my opinion, despite this fact, equal pay is still the way to go. The majors are about seeing everyone, all of tennis, in one place, and the men and women play an equal part in that.”

    • This is a red herring. Every self respecting woman argues, “Equal pay for equal work” The argument was never about, and is never about, the ease of getting the task done. What’s so difficult about that to understand? Why does tennis have to be different?

      The WTA needs to play best of 5 in Slams like the ATP does, that is equal work, and claim equal pay, period. They and their apologists shouldn’t think they are smarter than everybody else with their fudge.

      The argument is not about how easy Djokovic or Serena beat their opponents, it’s about how many sets either are required to play in Slams, and the compensation thereof. Women do not need free rides. That is what equality is about.

  2. If shorts were compulsory wear for women the argument over equal pay would disappear overnight. For as long as they continue to prance about in ludicrous outfits the myth of the weaker sex will be perpetuated.

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