MELBOURNE, 22 January 2020 – Marin Cilic has reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open after a 5-set thriller against France’s Benoit Paire on Wednesday in Melbourne.
Cilic needed three hours and 37 minutes to beat Paire 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10-3).
After losing his serve at the start of the first set, Cilic broke Paire three times in a row to take the first set with ease, and he probably would have settled the job earlier had he finished off the tie-break in the second set when he was 5-3 up.
It didn’t happen, Paire took the second set and then with one break of serve, took the third set 6-3. Cilic came back to take the fourth set comfortably 6-1 as Paire looked as if he had run out of steam.
Both players would hold serve in the decider and it would be decided by a tie-breaker which the Croatian would take 10-3 to take a thrilling match.
Cilic is set to face the tournament’s 9th seed next, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who first has to beat world no. 217 Michael Mmoh.
Earlier in the day, Croatia lost one of their players in the women’s draw when Petra Martic was knocked out in the second round by Germany’s Julia Görges.
Martic looked as if she was on track to move into the third round when she took the opening set 6-4. Gorges would come back, however, and take the next two sets 6-3, 7-5 to end Martic’s tournament.