After his shock straight set loss to Marin Cilic on Saturday, Roger Federer took a few moments to talk about the two players on today’s US Open final, Kei Nishikori and the Croatian Cilic.
On these two new faces to a Grand Slam final playing for the US Open title:
I think it’s exciting for the game, you know, to have different faces from time to time. At the same time, I think people still enjoy seeing the guys they have seen for a while or often in the big matches. But I think it’s definitely refreshing to some extent. It’s big for Croatia and big for Japan I guess on some level, especially on sporting terms and tennis terms. Everybody who gets to this stage of this kind of a competition deserves to be there because they have put in the work and they hoped for the break, and this is it for both of them. I hope they can play a good final.
On who’s a bigger surprise, Cilic or Nishikori:
I’m more surprised with Cilic, to be honest, because he’s older. I think he is, anyway. He’s been around for longer, you know, but he’s really been able to make a nice transition in the last few years in his game. There is a significant difference in how he plays. Whereas with Kei I always thought unbelievable talent way back when I played with him for the first time when he was 17. Just wasn’t quite sure that in a best-of-five-set tournament if he could get all the way to the back end of the tournament. But he’s beaten, you know, myself twice already, other top guys, you know, before. He was destroying Rafa in the finals of Madrid. He’s shown what he can do, and that’s why with Kei I’m not surprised, really.
On who’s the favorite:
It’s interesting situation, you know, where you have two players who have never been in a Grand Slam final before and in a way they have nothing to lose. Who is the favorite? Nobody really knows. From that standpoint I think it’s quite an interesting situation. I think Kei played amazing tennis, you know, this tournament. And Marin now, as well. I don’t know who is the favorite really going in. That’s why you’ve got to watch it.
Federer and friend Stan Wawrinka will be in Geneva later this week for Swtizerland’s semifinal Davis Cup tie against Italy. The winners face either France or two-time defending champion Czech Republic, who go head-to-head at Roland Garros this weekend, in November’s Davis Cup final.
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Nishikori, 3 of Top 10, Cilic, Kyrgios at ATP Tokyo; Preview