World Tour Finals preview and prediction: Zverev vs. Cilic

Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they collide during round-robin action at the World Tour Finals on Sunday night.

Zverev is leading the head-to-head series 3-1, including 1-0 this season thanks to a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 victory at the Madrid Masters. Included in this current stretch of three consecutive wins for Zverev is their only previous indoor hard-court encounter, which went the German’s way via a 7-6(4), 7-6(1) decision last year in Montpellier. Cilic’s lone defeat of Zverev came in the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Although it ended with an unceremonious first-round French Open loss to Fernando Verdasco, Zverev’s clay-court swing marked the beginning of his surge to the top of the sport. In a stretch of three tournaments, the 20-year-old triumphed in Munich, reached the Madrid quarterfinals following his win over Cilic, and captured the biggest title of his career at the Rome Masters. Zverev won another Masters 1000 event this summer in Montreal before compiling a meager 8-7 record in his last seven tournaments prior to London.

Cilic’s 2017 campaign is highlighted by a runner-up performance at Wimbledon, where he ultimately succumbed to Roger Federer in the final. The fifth-ranked Croat owns just a single title this year (Istanbul), but he has been extremely consistent in the aftermath of a rough start to the season in which he lost his opening match in five of his first 10 events. Cilic has not lost his opener in any of his last 10 appearances.

This marks the 2014 U.S. Open champion’s third trip to the O2 Arena. Although Cilic has never advanced to the semifinals, he at least managed to win a match last fall after going 0-3 in 2014 and 0-2 in his first two matches of last season’s tournament. Zverev, meanwhile, has qualified for the World Tour Finals for the first time in his career.

With a slight edge in current form and more importantly some experience at this prestigious event, Cilic should be able to get off to a stronger start in London than he has in the past.

Pick: Cilic in 3

13 Comments on World Tour Finals preview and prediction: Zverev vs. Cilic

  1. This match surely gonna be one of the most important matches at this stage for both guys and for the final score in the group. Despite Zverev’s dominance on their H2H, I’m going with Cilic for the win, because Zverev seems to be a bit spent at this time of the season.

  2. I don’t know if the ‘experience’ is much to go on, he lost most of his matches.
    Zverev took time out and missed the next gen finals to be ready for this , so who knows what form he will be in.

    Cilic has had a miserable time in London recently so that could be a factor .

    Zverev in three, but only just.

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