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Cilic Scary Dominant On Serve

Rare is the Grand Slam tournament in which Marin Cilic grabs the headlines and is the talk of the preamble. The Big Four and Stan Wawrinka do that too well most of the time.

But equally as rare is the Grand Slam where Cilic is not a quiet contender who plays his way into title-contention form by the second week. The Croatian looks like he's on his way to such status again at the 2018 Australian Open.

Marin Cilic hits 20 aces to advance to the third round at the Australian Open.
The sixth seed dismissed Portugal's Joao Sousa in straight sets on Wednesday 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the third round in Melbourne for the seventh time.

The 6'6” right-hander, who reached his second Grand Slam final last year at Wimbledon (also 2014 US Open), thoroughly controlled the match with his biggest weapon, his serve. Cilic dropped only five service points (56/61), including a ridiculous 18/20 on his second serve. Sousa never saw a break point.

Cilic will next face American Ryan Harrison, who beat 31st seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4. Harrison hit 14 aces and never faced a break point. The World No. 45 made the final of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp earlier this month, falling to Aussie Nick Kyrgios. Cilic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 5-1, including wins in their past three matches.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, started his 2018 campaign as the top seed at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, where he lost to eventual champion Gilles Simon in the semi-finals. Cilic's best showing in Melbourne came in 2010, when he reached the semi-finals.

Another Croatian, 38-year-old Ivo Karlovic, went the distance for the sixth time in his career at Melbourne Park, out-hitting Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 7-6(3) 6-7(3) 7-5 4-6 12-10 in four hours and 33 minutes. Karlovic struck 53 aces and 110 winners, and came to the net 180 times, to set-up a third-round clash against Andreas Seppi of Italy, who beat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

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