When the draw came out, the prospect of a Murray vs Nadal match at a slam for the first time in 3 years looked a distinct possibility. Fast forward 2 weeks and it hasn’t quite worked out like that with a big opportunity arising for Sam Querrey and Marin Cilic, who play for a spot in the Wimbledon final to begin play on Friday afternoon on Centre Court.
Querrey has now beaten his previous best slam run with this edging out his quarter final at the very same event last year. He needed 5 sets to win for the third time in succession but it lacked much of the drama that his previous wins did. Against a faltering Andy Murray, he dropped just 2 games in the final two sets to knock out the defending champion and World No.1 3-6 6-4 6-7 6-1 6-1.
Murray’s injury problems cropped up again but Querrey maintained his composure and blew Murray off the court when he may well have let it get to him in previous matches. There were 24 aces amongst his 67 winners as his aggressive play paid off greatly. “I just kind of stayed with my game. I tried to play aggressive and keep swinging after the ball. I didn’t want to alter my game and try to get into those cat-and-mouse points, because that’s where he’s really good. I just kept my foot down and just kept trying to pound the ball.” Querrey commented in regards to his tactics when dealing with an injured Murray.
Cilic ended the fairytale of Gilles Muller in the quarter finals, although it came as a bit of a surprise that he needed five sets to do it. Cilic had been solid on serve for large parts of the match with him winning over 80% of points on his first serve but he had a letdown at 5-5 in the fourth set, allowing the Luxembourger to break and serve for the fourth set. Cilic quickly turned things around though, running away with the decider 6-1 to ensure he didn’t get pulled into a dogfight late. “I just reset myself a little bit after the fourth set. I didn’t want to change anything because I didn’t play too bad a set, and I just continued on that path.” Cilic said.
“I’m sure my coach Craig will look at those results, tweak a thing or two. I haven’t talked to him yet about it. I mean, yeah, part of it’s mental, part of it’s physical. I’m going to go out there and try to keep doing what I’ve been doing these last five matches, and hopefully that will be good enough to win.” Querrey said of his previous matches with Cilic, of which he has lost all 4 including 3 on the grass. One of them ended 17-15 in the deciding set and a repeat, or close to it, would not be a surprise the way both men are hitting the ball. Cilic could be a legitimate threat to Roger Federer in the final or a comfortable favourite were Tomas Berdych to pull off the surprise win.
Prediction – Marin Cilic in 4 sets