Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic Preview from ATP Montreal 2011

Shane LambertAnalyst IIAugust 10, 2011

Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic, playing in his first match since winning the Wimbledon title in July, enjoyed a straight sets victory over Nikolay Davydenko in the second round of the Montreal Masters on Wednesday (Aug. 10). 

Djokovic faced a mild scare in the match as he went down by two breaks in the first set, however Davydenko, playing nowhere near his best at this point in his career, had service problems of his own and that allowed the world's number one player to cruise to a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Next up for Djokovic is Croatia's Marin Cilic, as he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday. 

Cilic promises to be a tough opponent, however the matchup is still quite favorable for Djokovic. Even when Cilic was playing better tennis in 2009 and 2010, a time when Djokovic was also playing below his current level of play, the Serb never had much trouble with the Croat. Djokovic is 5-0 all time against Cilic with only two dropped sets in those five matches.

All of their head-to-head matches have been played on the hard court surface with Djokovic winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 the last time the two players met in Davis Cup play in 2010.

Cilic does have enough pure talent to compete with even the highest ranked players on tour, however he will need to play far better than he has been playing in the last year. Recent losses to Alexandr Dolgopolov, Mikhail Youzhny, and Ivan Ljubicic all imply that Cilic is in over his head against Djokovic, a player who is still undefeated on the hard court surface in 2011.

Looking ahead in the draw, if the seeds hold up Djokovic could face Gael Monfils, the fifth-seeded player in Montreal who will next face either Viktor Troicki or John Isner.