By Jake Davies

  • Roger Federer [3] vs Marin Cilic [7]
LONDON, UK – The curtains come down on Wimbledon with the Men’s Singles final. Roger Federer is hunting for his eighth title at SW19, and 19th overall while Marin Cilic looks to spoil the party.

 

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Roger Federer [3] vs Marin Cilic [7] H2H: Federer leads 6-1

The Men’s draw took an unpredictable turn in the quarter-final stage, but many could argue the case that the two best players of the fortnight are now going to be contesting the 2017 Wimbledon final. The No.3 seed and seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is yet to drop a single set during this year’s Championships, while No.7 seed Marin Cilic is displaying the breathtaking, purposeful tennis that guided him to a major triumph in the US Open in 2014.

In that very tournament, Cilic played the tennis of his life to topple Federer in straight sets  in that semi-final, so the question is whether the Croat can bring into existence a similar style of effective, aggressive tennis when he meets Federer for the second time in a row at Wimbledon.

The head-to-head makes for happy reading for the Swiss. He was won six out of seven matches against the big-serving Croatian, but the US Open 2014 match-up sticks out considerably and is a reminder that Cilic is not going to lie down easily in this encounter.

Federer has beaten some difficult opponents on his way to the final. He came through Alexandr Dolgopolov, Dusan Lajovic, Mischa Zverev and Grigor Dimtrov in the first four rounds, then faced a step up in class in the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final, but handled two former finalists in Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych incredibly well.

Cilic is the underdog in this final, but wins over Gilles Muller in the quarter-final and Sam Querrey in the semi-final, will give him the necessary belief and confirmation that he can cause a serious problem for the 18-time Grand Slam champion in Sunday’s final.

So where can the match be won and lost for Cilic? The 2014 US Open champion has to ensure that he plays his style of tennis. Ignore who he is facing and concentrate completely on the things he has done to get that first major title. Remember what brought him that single win over Federer and try to execute the same game plan. He has to get the first strike in and take time away from Federer. Too many players allow the Swiss man to have all the time in the world and that gives Federer the licence to put his opponent on the defence immediately – and we all know Cilic struggles with the defensive sides of the game.

Over the course of Federer’s career he has made a considerable habit of serving accurate and powerful serves in the clutch moments, just like he did against Berdych in the semi-final. Cilic has the luxury of a very big serve, but Federer’s serve is his go-to weapon during any moment in any given match. I think that is where the huge gulf in quality will be emphasised in the final.

Their last meeting came in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, where Cilic should have won from two sets to love up, but the way he threw the match away suggests that Federer should handle the occasion of a Wimbledon final much better than his opponent, who will prepare for a first ever Wimbledon final.

Prediction: Federer in four sets.

 

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