Roger Federer is expected to win his 20th grand slam on Sunday although opponent Marin Cilic will have plenty to say about that. Cilic becomes one of a select group of players to make three different grand slam finals, now only needing the French Open to complete the set. The Croatian is now at a career high ranking of No.3 while a Federer win will put him in a good position to regain the No.1 spot.
There is little to say about Federer’s semi final with opponent Hyeon Chung’s terrible blisters essentially ruining any chance of a contest. The Korean’s excellent form had suggested he could cause Federer trouble but he only managed to win 3 games before retiring late in the second set. The tournament has felt like a procession for the start though and the draw falling apart has helped Federer further. He avoided potential foes Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic while Rafael Nadal succumbed to a hip injury in the quarter finals against Cilic. If he struggles in the final, it won’t be down to physicality with not a great deal of hours on the clock this fortnight. “I must admit, as well, you do take the faster matches whenever you can because there’s enough wear and tear on the body, there’s enough tough matches throughout the season that when they happen, you take them.” he said on the match.
“I think he played great against Rafa. I think the belief and the way he played very positive made him win that match because he didn’t look good there for a while when he was down a set and a break and everything.” he added on Cilic. While injury denied the match of a natural conclusion, there has been plenty of matches where the Spaniard would have willed his way to victory so Cilic should still be applauded for pushing on prior to the retirement. He will have been relieved to have had it easy in the semi finals, winning in straight sets against Kyle Edmund.
Federer picked up his nineteenth slam with a win over Cilic at Wimbledon last year and won’t be too troubled by seeing him once more in this final. He leads the head to head 8-1 including that final, the sole Cilic win coming when he won the US Open back in 2014. “I think overall consistently I’m playing better. I think I am performing better when you look at match after match. I think in US Open that was just amazing tennis that I played. But it was more difficult for me to keep it for a long period of time.” he said thinking back to that event. The problem for him may be that while that overall consistency sees you at the deep end of slams all the time, he may need to showcase the US Open form to blast Federer off the court.
Prediction – Roger Federer in 4 sets