Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
The post Wimbledon season enters its second week with two events taking place in Gstaad, Switzerland where the draw looks wide open and played at altitude its one of the fastest clay events on the circuit. The other event is where we turn our attention to in Umag, Croatia where hometown favourite Marin Cilic looks a solid bet to regain his title that he was not able to defend last year.
[quote_box_right]Having a bet on the tennis? Go to Coral and pick up a £20 free bet for just a £5 stake![/quote_box_right]Under new coach Goran Ivanisevic, the talented Croatian has had some very decent results this year and certainly comes in as one of the favourites for this event. Cilic has already found himself in three finals this year winning two of those matches and was also unlucky in losing to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon taking the world number one to five sets. Cilic enjoys playing in his home of Croatia with one of his titles this season coming in Zagreb and although that was played on an indoor court he will still enjoy the clay conditions of this event.
Umag has always been a happy hunting ground for the Croatian. In 2011 he reached the final losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov, followed a year later by going one better defeating Marcel Granollers to be crowned the 2012 champion. 2013 was a year Cilic would like to forget with the Croatian receiving a drugs ban which was later reduced but still forced him out of defending his title leading to Tommy Robredo being crowned champion.
The main dangers to Cilic will be defending champion Tommy Robredo who is a quality player on the clay, however if recent form is anything to go by then it looks like the Spaniard is feeling his age with two early exits in Bastad and Hamburg.
Bookies favourite Fabio Fognini once again looks like one to oppose rather than back as well with the Italian recently showing a mental weakness that has stopped him from breaking the top ten. It was only four days ago Fognini not only lost in straight sets to the world number 149 but his opponent was ill and Fognini still managed to find a way to lose in straights including a 6-0 set.
Apart from these three mentioned the rest of the field looks extremely weak with the seeds being made up from Sousa, Rosol, Seppi, Roger Vasselin and Berlocq. All capable players on their day but not the quality where someone of Cilic’s ability will be concerned.
A kind draw to Cilic sees him receive a bye in the first round followed by a second round match with either an out of sorts Sijsling or a poor Reister. A quarter final will likely see him face Rosol where Cilic holds a solid 3-0 head to head and has never even lost a set against the big serving Czech. Robredo and Fognini would then be likely waiting for Cilic to take the crown but in his home country of Croatia and a very solid record in Umag, I fancy the Croatian to take the title here for the second time of his career.
Recommended bet – Marin Cilic outright tournament winner 11/4 Coral