Cilic Downs Medvedev In 'One Of The Best Matches Of My Career'
A red-hot Marin Cilic left no doubt in a fourth-round domination of World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev on Monday night, powering into the Roland Garros quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Court Phillippe Chatrier.
"It was an absolutely fantastic match from the first point to the last," he said in an on-court interview. "I enjoyed the atmosphere, enjoyed the night session here. I played incredible tennis — one of the best matches of my career from start to finish."
The 33-year-old is through to his third Roland Garros quarter-final (2017-18) and his first Grand Slam quarter-final since he reached that stage in three of the four majors in 2018, including the Australian Open final.
His victory over Medvedev was every bit as one-sided as the score suggests, with the classy Croatian breaking in the sixth game of the first two sets before racing out a a 4-0 advantage in the third. The 20th seed did not face a break point and won 90 per cent (35/39) of his first-serve points to advance. He was also ruthless on return, converting on five of his seven break chances in a one-hour, 45-minute victory.
Cilic dominated Medvedev in every facet. He frequently gained an immediate advantage in rallies with strong serving and returning, but was equally comfortable beating his opponent in longer exchanges. Powerful and precise groundstrokes pulled Medvedev from side to side and set up opportunities for drop shots throughout as Cilic delighted the Chatrier crowd with his varied shotmaking.
The inspired Croatian has dropped just one set in reaching the quarter-finals and has held serve in 50 of 54 service games, saving eight of 12 break points. With the win, Cilic improved to 1-10 against Top 10 opponents at Roland Garros and 4-21 against the Top 10 on clay. He was previously 2-3 in the fourth round in Paris.
Cilic next faces seventh seed Andrey Rublev, who moved past Jannik Sinner earlier on Monday when the Italian retired in the third set of their match. Cilic will be seeking his first Roland Garros semi-final.
The 2005 Roland Garros boys' singles champion, he has reached the men's final at each of the other three Grand Slams, famously winning the 2014 US Open title by upsetting Roger Federer in the semis and storming past Kei Nishikori in the final. Cilic lost to the Swiss legend in the 2017 Wimbledon title match and the 2018 Australian Open final.
Medvedev finishes his the European clay swing with a 3-2 record. He returned from hernia surgery to compete in Geneva, but lost his opening match at the ATP 250 event before recording three straight-sets wins at Roland Garros. He fell one match shy of matching his run to the quarter-finals one year ago in Paris.