By Ros Satar, in Melbourne
- Five Reasons why Roger Federer will win the 2018 Australian Open
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – With a 20th Major title and a sixth Australian Open on the line, we look at five reasons why Roger Federer will win on Sunday.
1) His record speaks for itself
Last year his path to an 18th Grand Slam title after a six-month injury lay-off resulted not only in a dream final and a five set thriller but it set Roger Federer back on a path to the top of the ATP. While he won’t regain the World No. 1 spot with a win over Marin Cilic here, what is on the line is Slam No. 20, and a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title – and honestly with that pedigree and experience behind him, who could pick against him?
2) Experience is all
Sure, Cilic knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam, but Federer can match that every day of the week for almost a month. The courts have suited Federer well over the years, and you also get a sense that the more Federer does not have to prove, the easier it seems to be for him to prevail.
He has created no pressure on himself to match his achievements of 2017, and as such is actually hitting as free as someone with nothing to lose. Add to that the experience and it looks like a done deal.
3) Fresh as a daisy
Federer has joked he’s an old man – but he has been expert in conserving his energy this tournament. While Cilic has been dragged to a three four set matches (Rafael Nadal retired just two games into a fifth set), Federer has yet to drop a set and as we saw in the women’s final – in the end time on court was what made the difference.
4) Still playing with the kids
Federer, to give him credit, has perhaps called out the younger generation in saying that a 36-year-old should not be a favourite for a tournament – yet he is. With many of his more established rivals still struggling with injury, Cilic is one of the very few who broke the stranglehold of the old Big Four.
But the fact remains Federer is still very much an immovable object to those coming up, and his record against Cilic is no exception.
5) Wimbledon will loom large in Cilic’s memory
Outside of the hard courts for both these guys, the grass is a surface that suits them well. Cilic had indeed been playing well, before blisters scuppered him, but to see a Slam champion reduced to tears was a sobering sight.
It will be hard for Cilic to put that aside and take Federer on, likewise the Swiss will know that he has that all important final win over Cilic – he may have lost to him in the 2014 US Open semi-finals, but on the final Sunday is when it really counts. Mentally that has to give Federer the ultimate edge.
MORE: Australian Open 2018 | Federer bids for Slam #20 but 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic stands in his way
The Australian Open 2018 Men’s final takes place on Sunday at 7:30pm (8:30am, GMT).
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