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Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic – US Open Live Stream and Match Preview

Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic takes place tonight in the semi-finals of the 2015 US Open.

This US Open match is scheduled to start at 22:00 BST.

Not many picked Cilic to get this far in defending his title. Since capturing his first Grand Slam in stunning style 12 months ago on Arthur Ashe Stadium, defeating Roger Federer in the semifinals and Kei Nishikori in the final, the lanky Croatian has struggled with a shoulder injury that saw him miss the opening months of the 2015 season and it took him a while to find any form to speak of on his return.

With a run to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon – where he lost to Djokovic – and a semifinal showing in Washington, D.C., however, Cilic started showing signs of, if not his best, then some effective tennis and despite two five-set battles with Mikhail Kukushkin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga respectively, he has defied expectations to return to the semifinals in New York.

Asked if he felt ‘pride and relief’ at reaching the semifinals, Cilic’s response was quietly confident.

‘I would say the word “pride.” I wouldn’t pick the word “relief” in there,’ he said on Wednesday. ‘I came to the tournament knowing that I can play well here, that I, you know, just need few matches to get into the rhythm, and that’s what happened.’

There’s no getting around the fact that Cilic’s gallant attempt at defending his title is likely to come to an end against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, however.

There were a few questions surrounding Djokovic’s form and fitness coming into the US Open, where he won the title in 2011 and finished runner-up four times (2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013). Djokovic made the finals in both Montreal and Cincinnati, but lost to Andy Murray and Roger Federer respectively in those finals and had arm and stomach injuries to contend with as well – unsurprising after a stellar season which has seen him win the Australian Open and Wimbledon, finish runner-up at the French Open, win Masters Series titles in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome, compiling a win-loss record which currently stands at 61-5 for the year.

Djokovic has steadied the ship – not that it was ever rocking very badly – at the US Open, however, cruising through the first three rounds in straight sets and although he went on to drop sets to Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez in the round of 16 and quarterfinals respectively, he never looked in the remotest danger of losing either match. Indeed, his progress to the semifinals has been reminiscent of how he played at Wimbledon: Not flawlessly by any means, but well within himself and with plenty to spare for the climactic final stages.

Naturally, that doesn’t bode terribly well for Cilic. 0-13 against Djokovic, Cilic has only won five sets in those 13 matches, coming closest to victory in 2014 when he pushed Djokovic to five in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Djokovic’s last nine sets against Cilic, dating back to that Wimbledon meeting, have been won by the following scorelines: 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Cilic, in other words, is not even getting close.

If that wasn’t enough, Cilic also had that grueling quarterfinal duel with Tsonga in the heat of the day and also dropped one set to Jeremy Chardy and two to Kukushkin earlier in the event – hardly ideal preparation for a match against the fittest man in tennis.

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Ian Horne
Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

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