Following his lighting quick opening round win, Swiss star Roger Federer is back on court on Thursday evening, where he will meet Marin Cilic, whom he holds an undefeated 4-0 record against on the ATP World Tour. This will mark their first meeting in almost two years. Check out the Federer vs Cilic Head to Head.
Although met with a fantastic reception upon arrival on Stadium Court, Roger Federer had to contend with the crowd’s vocal support for his Canadian opponent Peter Polansky. The match lasted a total of 52 minutes, with Federer facing minimal resistance from his first-time opponent. The world No. 3 struck 5 aces, won 83% of his first service point and converted all six of his break point opportunities. Federer also hit 22 winners to his 17 unforced errors and won 9 of his 16 points at the net to close out the contest 6-2, 6-0.
“I started well, you know, and that’s always helpful to play more freely. I think I could have served better at times, but other than that already in practice I felt I was moving well. Didn’t feel so good hitting the ball yet. I’m happy that in the match it kind of all worked out. I’m very relieved and pleased.”
While Federer enjoyed playing his opening match on Stadium court, Marin Cilic was forced to contend his match way out on Court 3. Jaziri was far superior at the start of the match. A bonafide underdog competitor, the Tunisian jumped to a 4-0 lead in the opening set and appeared to have an answer for everything Cilic threw at him, including the Croat’s powerful serves. Cilic appeared frustrated by the sun and heat and was unable to limit the unforced errors flying iff his racquet. He eventually got on the scoreboard at 4-1 with his first pair of aces and a well-placed groundstroke.
Cilic picked up the pace soon afterwards, as he held serve to love before pressuring Malek’s final service game in the set. Cilic was dealt two break point chances and took full advantage of the first one to break back for 5-3. It was not enough as Jaziri would hold serve to take the first set in 34 minutes.
The exact opposite took place in the second set, as Cilic stormed back to take a 5-0 lead even though he was threatened on serve several times in the process. 2 minutes later, he had secured the bagel.
The final set was by far the most competitive with the two athletes locked in a tight battle through the first four games. Jaziri stole the break for a 4-2 lead but was quickly thwarted by Cilic, who won the next three consecutive games to lead 5-4. The match would go to a tiebreaker, which the Croat would close out 7-4.
This is the fifth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Federer holding an unblemished 4-0 record in the head-to-head series. Cilic was far from his best on Wednesday, which will only serve to hinder him on Thursday against the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets