Marin Cilic needed just 70 minutes to eliminate sixth seed David Goffin 6-2, 6-2 at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Wednesday.
The former World No. 3 did not face a break point throughout the second-round contest, winning 88 per cent of first-serve points (23/26) to level his ATP Head2Head series at 4-4 against the Belgian. Two of Cilic’s four victories against Goffin have come at this event. The Croatian also defeated Goffin in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals in 2017.
With his third victory since the resumption of the ATP Tour last month, Cilic improves to 15-11 in the Italian capital. The 31-year-old achieved his best result in Rome in 2018, when he beat Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the semi-finals.
Cilic will meet Casper Ruud or Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the quarter-finals. The World No. 40 has not met either player at tour-level.
Fourth seed Matteo Berrettini also produced a fine serving performance to book his place in the third round. The home favourite dropped only three points behind his serve (31/34) en route to a 7-5, 6-1 victory against Federico Coria of Argentina.
Berrettini has now won five of his seven matches since returning to the ATP Tour at the Western & Southern Open last month. The Italian advanced to the fourth round at the US Open for the second straight year, earning straight-sets wins against Go Soeda, Ugo Humbert and Ruud. Berrettini will face US Open quarter-finalist Borna Coric or countryman Stefano Travaglia in the third round.