Tim Henman praised Marin Cilic for playing the “perfect match” after he dismantled world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open.
Cilic took less than two hours to beat Medvedev 6-2 6-3 6-2 in a one-sided match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 2014 US Open champion served fantastically, winning 90 per cent of first-serve points and not facing a single break point, and also outhit Medvedev from the back of the court.
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“I was so impressed with all aspects of Cilic’s game,” said former British No. 1 Henman on Eurosport.
“He was the one who was looking to get in the court and dictate the rallies. It was relentless. He never gave Medvedev any opportunity to get into the match. His serving was exceptional.
“He played such a perfect match. For Medvedev not to have a break point chance in a best-of-five set match you have to be serving pretty well.”
Cilic will next face Andrey Rublev in his third French Open quarter-final.
The Croatian has never advanced beyond the last eight in Paris but seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander is impressed with how he is playing.
“It reminded me so much of when he won the US Open, the same kind of tennis, he won nine sets in a row to finish that tournament.
“What are the three reasons Cilic hasn’t won more majors? It’s Rafa [Nadal], Novak [Djokovic] and Roger [Federer]. He would get on these runs but then run into one of them and they never miss, mentally they are giants. If he hadn’t lost to these guys in the quarters and semis I really feel like when he plays well he can beat anybody and he could have sustained it for longer.
“When he is seeing the ball like he is tonight, wow, what a ball striker.”
Asked how Medvedev will reflect on the match, Henman said: “I think Medvedev will appreciate that Cilic played fantastically well, but my question for Medvedev would be what could he have done differently. Did he try to change anything?
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“He tried to serve and volley a bit on his own serve but that wasn’t the biggest problem. On Cilic’s serve could he have tried to stand in different positions to give him a different look and break up his rhythm. Would it have made a difference? I don’t think so, but at least he could have tried something different.”
Cilic also joined the Eurosport studio to analyse his display, which he described on court as one of the best of his career.
“Superb performance, incredible feeling,” he said.
“I played good tennis in Madrid, then in Rome too, just kept going with that good form and here in Paris the conditions are a bit quicker and something clicked in my game and the feeling is fantastic, everything is working incredible.
“I just felt I was hitting great off the ground, I moved well, backed the serve with some great forehands and mixed it up nicely with some drop shots. Daniil is an incredible retriever and you have to do things differently than against other guys.”
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