Marin Cilic vs Jack Sock Predictions
Jack Sock and Marin Cilic meet in the second round of group games, and both know this is a game they cannot afford to lose. The loser of this game could be all but eliminated before their final game of the group, and neither player will want that. On the flip side, the winner of this will be full of confidence heading into his final group match, with both knowing two wins from here on out could be enough to book their semi-final spot. Jack Sock is making his debut here this year, and despite losing his opening match he put in a good display that he can take encouragement from. Marin Cilic, meanwhile, got off to another losing start at the ATP Tour Finals, as he continues to struggle at these year-end finals. The Croatian is making his third appearance here, and he’s still looking to make it out of the groups for the first time, and that’s something that would be a huge uphill battle if he was to lose this match. Who will earn their first win of the week on Tuesday
Jack Sock had the difficult task of facing Swiss great Roger Federer in his debut match at these Tour Finals, but he put in a good performance. Despite falling in straight-sets to Federer, Sock was not blown away and took the final set all the way to a tie break, which shows he’s not just here to make up the numbers. The American came into this tournament in great form after winning his maiden Masters title, and if he can bring that form into this match he will really trouble Cilic. Sock is up to a career high number nine in the world right now, as well as being the number one ranked American, and so he must feel the most confident he has done throughout his career. A good season for the American would get even better with a win in this match, and if he was to bring his best game you wouldn’t put it past him.
Marin Cilic has never brought his best game to these Finals, and his luck hasn’t changed so far this year either. The Croatian suffered another disappointing start to the ATP Finals with a defeat to German star Alexander Zverev. After losing the opening set Cilic managed to battle back to force a deciding set against the world number three, but he couldn’t keep the momentum going and ultimately fell in three-sets. That was a much Cilic would’ve highlighted as a must win if he was to make it out of the group, and so a defeat will have definitely dented his hopes. While Cilic has had a decent season, he will have been hoping for better and he seems to be in a weird place right now, you don’t know what to expect when he takes to the court. The 2014 US Open champion will know he’ll need results in his last two matches if he’s to finally make it out of the group and so this is one he can’t afford to lose. Cilic is up against it right now but the best players normally come out fighting, will he?
American Jack Sock has won both of the previous meetings between these two, as the world number nine has enjoyed success against the Croatian. Their two meetings came last year, with their first being in the quarter-final of the Davis Cup. Cilic went 2-0 up in that match, but Sock produced a stunning fight back to beat Cilic 3-2. The other meeting came at the US Open, where Sock once again came out victorious, this time in straight-sets. While these two have only met a couple of times in the past, both will be aware of the other’s strengths and weaknesses and so they’ll come into this must win match knowing exactly what is needed to get the win. The winner of this match will be full of confidence heading into their final group match, while the loser might not have anything to play for by the time it comes around. Who will put their first points of the tournament on the board?
I actually think the underdog Sock will win this one, and pile even more misery on Cilic at these Tour Finals. The American will be the more confident of the two coming into this match, as well as being the man in the better form. Sock has also never lost to Cilic and so that should encourage him even more, and this record will be something Cilic is aware of too. Despite losing to Federer, the Paris Masters champion put in a good performance, and he’ll head into this match confident of getting a result. Meanwhile, Cilic has never performed to his best at these Finals and I didn’t see enough in his opening match to make me think this year will be any different. These two both lost their opening match this week, but I saw more from the American to make me think he’s the one who can get a result here and keep his semi-final hopes alive. Jack Sock to win a close one 2-1.