The numbers suggest the scale is heavily tipped in Roger Federer’s favour when he takes court against Marin Cilic in the Wimbledon final on Sunday. The Swiss player has not dropped a set since losing in Stuttgart to Tommy Haas – going unbeaten and without losing a set over the course of Halle and now Wimbledon. Pit them head-to-head and Federer leads the record by 6-1 with three of their matches played in Grand Slams.
The last time they had faced off, Cilic had pushed Federer to five sets with the Croatian taking the first two sets. The final outcome read 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in favour of Federer but the three hours and 17 minutes contest took enough out of the seven-time champion to plague him for the next round against Milos Raonic which the Canadian won.
“When you’re saving match points, when you’re down two sets to love, three-all, love-40, it’s a moment when it’s not in your control anymore,” Federer had said then. “But I fought, I tried, I believed. At the end I got it done. So it was great on so many levels. This one is definitely huge because it’s Centre Court at Wimbledon, and it still gives me the chance to win the tournament,” he added.
That win exemplified one can never write him off, consider the match done when you’re playing against him or even relax yourself. That never say die attitude, will to win even at 35 years old, has brought him here in the final of Wimbledon once again. His quest for the title has been going on since 2012 when he had beaten Andy Murray.
In fact, the only time Cilic has beaten Federer was at the 2014 US Open and he went on lift the trophy at Flushing Meadows that year. Then Cilic had prevailed in straight sets to leave Federer with no recourse.
“I don’t want to say it’s more relaxed going into it because I have a good head-to-head record against Marin, even though the matches were extremely close,” said Federer. “But it’s not like we’ve played against each other 30 times. You feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. It’s more straightforward, in my opinion. I think that’s nice in some ways. It’s a nice change, but it doesn’t make things easier.”
MATCHES SO FAR:
Federer def. Cilic 6-4, 6-4 (2008 Paris Masters)
Federer def. Cilic 6-4, 6-3 (2011 Monte Carlo Masters)
Federer def. Cilic 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 (2011 US Open)
Federer def. Cilic 6-3, 6-4 (2012 Shanghai Masters)
Federer def. Cilic 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 (2014 Canada Masters)
Cilic def. Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 (2014 US Open)
Federer def. Cilic 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 (2016 Wimbledon)