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Fear of upset an added motivator for Djokovic against Cilic

11 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Fear of upset an added motivator for Djokovic against Cilic

The nine-time Grand Slam winner dominates their head-to-head record, but the defending champion has surprised before at US Open

A meeting between the No. 1 seed and defending champion for the right to contest Sunday’s US Open final should be the most-anticipated tie of the tournament.

It is unfortunate, then, that Novak Djokovic boasts a 13-0 winning record over Marin Cilic.

The world’s best player, of course, will be thrilled with his semi-final opponent.

It is curious that of the 40 hard-court titles he has won, only one has come at Flushing Meadows.

That was in 2011 – a thrilling four-set victory over Rafael Nadal – the year he dominated tennis and collected three Grand Slams.

After all, it is not as if Djokovic does not relish playing in New York.

This is his ninth successive appearance in the semis, while he has also contested three other finals.

And while the 28-year-old perhaps hasn’t been at his living-legend best so far – dropping two sets and losing his composure more than once – he remains poised to claim a second title in the Big Apple.

Novak Djokovic v Marin Cilic betting

That, of course, would mean another three-time major-winning season for the current Australian Open and Wimbledon champion.

An undoubted positive for Cilic – last year’s shock winner – is that there is absolutely no expectation for him to win the match.

Sound familiar? It should do.

Twelve months ago, the Croatian sensationally overpowered Roger Federer – then the tournament favourite after Kei Nishikori had shocked Djokovic in the earlier semi – to reach the final.

That should provide encouragement for this match.

5/1 – Marin Cilic to beat Novak Djokovic

So, too, will his performances at the season’s final major, where he has put an otherwise forgettable year behind him to extend his winning run on the East Coast to 12 matches.

While the 26-year-old will be mindful of his dismal head-to-head results against his Eastern European compatriot – the most recent defeat coming at SW19 in July – he should feel emboldened at the venue that delivered the greatest moment of his career.

That appeared to be the case in the previous round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, where he overcame an ankle injury to seal a four-hour, five-set win against the charismatic Frenchman.

Cilic returned superbly in that match – breaking the previously-unbeaten Tsonga serve three times – and must do again on Friday.

He must also play with the same brute force – thus keeping the points short – that inspired his famous triumph over Federer last year.

That, incidentally, was the first time Cilic had ever beaten the Swiss master.

But Djokovic will not allow him to usurp another multi-Slam winner for the second consecutive year.

5/2 – Novak Djokovic to beat Marin Cilic 3-1

US Open betting

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