Spotlight on Cilic in Rotterdam

Marin Cilic will try to put a gloss on a lacklustre start to the ATP season as the Croat heads the field at the Rotterdam World Tennis starting on Monday.

MarinCilic

Marin Cilic will face Benoit Paire in the first round.   -  AP

Marin Cilic will try to put a gloss on a lacklustre start to the ATP season as the Croat heads the field at the Rotterdam World Tennis starting on Monday. The indoor showpiece, one of the few ATP events entirely supported by just one sponsor, was deprived of top draw Rafael Nadal and holder Stan Wawrinka through injury leaving former U.S. Open champion Cilic the top seed left in the field.

The World No. 7 faces a first-round test with Frenchman Benoit Paire, who has managed only one win so far this season. Second-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, a first-round loser in Bulgaria whose intense scheduling is drawing criticism for a lack of solid results, starts in the first round at the Ahoy stadium in a showpiece against German teenaged threat Alexander Zverev, one of the fastest rising hopes of the new generation.

Zverev warmed up for the event by >winning the Montpellier tournament on Sunday. "I feel good. Maybe not as much as last year, but I'm fine," said Thiem.

Belgian third seed David Goffin faces Andrey Kuznetsov while fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov, the champion in Sofia on Sunday, will try and keep a near-perfect 2017 record intact when he takes on elder Zverev brother Mischa.

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