After a few good results on the women’s side, it’s now time to preview an ATP match from Miami. It still feels somewhat unfamiliar to see Marin Cilic entering a Masters 1000 event unseeded, but his first round match against clay courter Federico Coria showed once again that things have changed for him quite a bit. Even wins like this one don’t come easy for the Croat anymore and Coria, who played less than 4% of his career matches on hard courts, pushed Cilic to the limit, only losing 3-6 6-2 4-6 in the end.
In tomorrow’s second round match, Chilean Cristian Garin awaits the former US Open champion. Garin is the #13 seed here in Miami and he’s coming off an ATP title at home in Santiago two weeks ago. As every South American, he grew up playing on clay, but his game is so much more versatile. However, as we already saw during the first few days, consistent players are doing really well in Miami. Garin’s footwork is tremendous and his rock-solid backhand reminds me a bit of Djokovic’s. He also spent most parts of his offseason in Florida, improving his hard court game with his new coach Franco Davin.
While Cilic struggled quite a bit on court this year and only won against Daniel, Kwon and Coria, Garin had to fight some off-court battles. First he suffered a wrist injury which kept him from playing the Australian Open, then he also got Covid at the start of 2021. The Chilean looked really rusty in his first tournament back in Buenos Aires, but after his title run in Santiago, he should be full of confidence again. A piece that Cilic is probably missing right now, given his recent results. I was already looking forward to this matchup when looking at the draw and Cilic’s first round performance only got me more excited to pick Garin at underdog odds.
1u on Cristian Garin at 2.10 with bet365