There was little to suggest much of a contest was possible during the first set of Sunday’s Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final before a teary eyed Marin Cilic called for the trainer to attend to a foot issue. That was the beginning of the end for him as Roger Federer took advantage to win in straight forward fashion, the 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory making it a record 8 Wimbledons and 19 overall slams for the Swiss.
Cilic had 1 break opportunity in the entire match, failing to convert at 2-1 up in the first set. A second serve provided a great opportunity for him to convert and make it interesting but he netted the return and that would be it for the Croatian. He had previously troubled Federer on faster surfaces, destroying him in New York and being 1 point from victory last year at the quarter final stage of Wimbledon but couldn’t find a way into the match as Federer dictated. He broke in three of the next four games before Cilic was attended to by the trainer.
After the treatment down 3-6 0-3, things didn’t really get any better for Cilic although he did manage to avoid getting a bagel in the second set. He did keep it respectable in the third set but could not make any inroads on the Federer serve at all, getting to deuce once but otherwise was kept in check on return. A solitary break at 3-3 was enough for Federer, who eased his way to victory. He needed two championship points to finally do it, hitting his 8th ace of the day after putting a forehand long at the first time of asking.
There’s no doubt that Cilic was hindered by his injury but whether it deprived the tournament of a true contest is still up for debate, given Federer’s form over the fortnight. Cilic had averaged almost 22 aces over his 6 wins enroute to the final but could only muster up 5, hence it becoming easier for Federer to get into return games with his opponent picking up very few cheap points. “”It is cruel sometimes, but [Cilic] fought well and he’s a hero. Congratulations on a wonderful tournament, Marin. You should be really proud. This is a special occasion and I hope we can play some better ones down the road.” Federer said in his post-match comments on court.
“”I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be here in another finals after last year and I’ve had some tough ones, losing to Novak in ’14 and ’15 but I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today. It’s fantastic.” he added. It’s fair to say that Federer choosing to skip the clay season was the correct decision with him coming into the grass season fighting fit and at the top of his game. It may have deprived us of a potential French Open final between he and the champion Rafael Nadal, both of whom have turned back the clock to dominate tennis like it was the late 00s. With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both potential doubtful for New York, who is to say that Federer couldn’t make it 20 after years of searching for his elusive 18th?