2014 ATP Finals Profile: Marin Cilic
by Sean Randall | November 4th, 2014, 10:03 am
  • 61 Comments

MARIN CILIC
Age: 26

Current ATP Rank: 9

2014 Highlights: 4 titles – US Open, Zagreb, Moscow, Delray Beach; Wimbledon QFs

ATP Finals History: None

Notable Stat: Almost half – 6 of 13 – career titles have come indoors (16-1 W-L this year indoors)

Finals Outlook: One of the best indoor players, Cilic has the big serve and big game to make noise in this type of environment. But a poor head-to-head record with the other players in Group A (Djokovic 0-10, Berdych 4-5, Wawrinka 2-7) and the fact that he hasn’t even played a Top 10 player since the US Open, hints at some issues in this his ATP Finals debut. Cilic should still scrape out a win, I just think the weight of the situation brings him down. That said, in his group there is opportunity if and only if he can get hot again like he did at the US Open.

Swing Match: v Tomas Berdych

Projected Finish: 3rd In Group A (1-2)

Next player evaluation: Milos Raonic


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61 Comments for 2014 ATP Finals Profile: Marin Cilic

Brando GOAT poster Says:

Excellent idea TX to do profiles on the players, props for that! As for Cilic: he’s one of the 3 dark horses for me who can either win or cause a storm at the event (Muzza, Kei) being the other. He’s got a great indoor game, he’s fresh and keen and now also has a big match pedigree. I think IF he gets out the group- right now I back him over Berdych and the poor form Wawa- and avoids Muzza in the SF then he could feasibly make the finals. And in a best of 3 with his game you do not really want to face him either. Key for Marin: keep that first serve in % above 65. It’s his biggest weapon and at times he does not get enough first serves in for me since if he does he’s got a great launching pad for his formidable game. A definite dark horse pick for me!


jane Says:

cool: love this profile and looking forward to the others!!

wow, this is scary for nole fans: “Almost half – 6 of 13 – career titles have come indoors (16-1 W-L this year indoors)”

no doubt cilic is a threat.


Polo Says:

Novak is 10-0 over Marin. There is no reason for his fans to get scared. Berdych and Wawrinka will probably contend for the doormat position in this group. Berdych may win one, but it won’t be against Djokovic.


skeezer Says:

There is no reason for Novak fans to be scared about anything in this years WTF. Who in his side of the draw has a real chance of challenging him?


elina Says:

Nole only has one player to worry about and he is on the other side.

But he should still be worried about him if he wants to win WTF.

Cilic is his main threat on his side and can win under the right circumstances (unlikely though). Berdych and Wawrinka will be technical walk overs.

However, there is perhaps the real possibility that Roger may not even make it out of his section given his very tough draw. A peaking in form and match hardened Murray (with a week to rest) has a great opportunity to beat Roger and a loss to either Nishikori or Raonic both of whom have wins over him this year would likely seal his fate.


rogerafa Says:

This is a positively terrifying prospect for the world no.1 in the absolute prime of his life. The favorable wtf conditions, Novak’s hot form and indoor winning streak are all likely to make it super easy for Marin to crush him. With the scarier prospect of facing Stan and Tomas, Novak is all set to crash out from the group stage itself. The big question is if he can win a set or even a game. Things are indeed looking extremely gloomy for Novak ‘fans’.


jane Says:

sheesh people, no need for snark! can’t a nole fan be concerned about marin’s record? :) i don’t think any of the players should be underestimated. nole does have an excellent record against the guys on his side, but marin pushed him in their recent matches. and look how dominantly he won the us open. i have no idea he’s 16-1 indoors this year and to me that’s darn good. i know nole’s record is better – 27 undefeated indoors! woo!! but that doesn’t mean i can’t see the merit and/or threat in the other players.

let me show you this: which player comes second behind nole for performance index on indoor courts in the past 52 weeks? well, that’d be CILIC!

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Performance-Zone/Performance-Indoor-Current-List.aspx

===————–

btw, sean randall, not sure if you saw, but the ATP is doing a “classic” WTF finals feature. they have hewitt and jcf’s 2002 final up now.


jane Says:

*HAD no idea.


rogerafa Says:

sheesh, no need for paranoia. :)

It would help if one saw the merit or threat of other players in a wider and proper perspective of recent form, court conditions, match up etc. I am sure the merit and threat of the same Marin, Stan or Tomas would not be seen so convincingly if they were playing Roger for instance. That would likely be deemed a “cakewalk” justified with all kinds of out of context arguments.


jane Says:

rogerafa, paranoia? on the other thread you called fed’s side “the group of death.” i agree that murray is a tough customer, indeed, but he’s had a difficult year, too, coming back from surgery. federer and andy have played 2 times this year with fed winning both.

in terms of kei and milos, i don’t see them as much bigger threats than stan or cilic. one has reached a slam final; and one a slam semi.

on the other hand, both cilic and stan are slam winners – this year.

so perhaps, it’s a matter of perspective. in any case, am not sure why you want to run down my opinion through mockery or by calling me paranoid.

but i know nole won’t underestimate his opponents; he knows they can all threaten on the day or they wouldn’t be where they are. he knows how tough both marin and stan played him this year at the slams, so he won’t take them lightly.

similarly, neither do i.


Okiegal Says:

ATM, I don’t see Novak getting beat by anyone……the king of indoor surfaces……unless the streak adds extra pressure, you know the “law of average” thingy that comes into play on occasion….he’s so dang good. He will win with no probs!!

@Jane……no worries…..me thinks!! Good luck to him!


Giles Says:

Okie. Barring injury of course which could happen to any player at any time.


Okiegal Says:

@Giles…..yeah, we know all about that…..huh?? That can happen to anyone. It would nice to have all of the players at 100%……but that will never be….sigh…..


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Marin is the biggest question mark at the tourney. We all saw his unstoppable form at the USO.

What we don’t know is if he will ever bring that game again, match after match, in a big tournament, against the best players.

I think this year, though Novak is a big favourite, it is not so clear who the whipping boy will be.


jane Says:

agree tennisvagabond, though i think we can say similar for kei and milos, who can both be big question marks too. all the “new” entries are alike in that way.

and yet, that’s what makes this WTF interesting: who will bring it?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

That’s why I love the WTF, every match is a cracker.

I think in previous years you could eliminate a lot of players. You always knew Berdych, Ferrer, Tipsarevic, Gasquet, Tsonga, etc weren’t gonna outlast the others.
This year, Berdych is still Berdych. But can you count anyone else out? Maybe Milos. But the other guys all have the potential to make a run. Well, like many of us have been saying, Novak’s still the best but the gap between the Big Four and the field has shrunk considerably.


rogerafa Says:

@ jane

Whether half of Marin’s titles have come indoors or he is 16-1 is not a “scary” thing for Novak with a 10-0 h2h and given his form and the slower surface. Slam results are not all that relevant at this point. The current form and fitness and the conditions seem more important to me. Slam winners can also go through a slump or have other issues that prevent them from playing well and Stan and Marin have not played particularly well lately. Tomas struggles against Novak too. I am sure a few of Novak’s fans may share your deep concern but most of them will not be as “scared”. That, as I pointed out on the other thread and you conveniently forgot to mention, is also due to his form and ability.

About the other group, if you read carefully, I called it a group of death from not Roger’s or Andy’s perspective but for everyone. Roger’s past achievements won’t help him one bit with the bouncier and slower courts where Kei and Andy will outrally him. This is a Roger well past his prime and even journeymen can outrally him. He needs favorable conditions now. His focus could be somewhere else and his 33 year old body must be feeling it after nearly 80 matches this season. Andy, whose momentum and threat to Novak were so obvious to you very recently despite his fatigue, was not at his best in this year’s previous meetings with Roger. He still is not at his best despite his recent run but neither is Roger likely to enjoy the conditions in London. This is what makes it a very level-playing field in this group. Kei and Milos, in excellent form on a similar surface in Paris, can hope to do really well because the other two players are not at their best.

Nobody is going to underestimate any of their opponents but a great h2h can mean a lot of confidence for Novak and have a demoralizing effect on Marin or any other player. Can you read Novak’s mind when you say you know how he would take his opponents? Just asking because you hurriedly checked out questioning the mind-reading ability of a poster (who you always agree with when he says nice things about Novak)when he said something about Novak being an attention-seeker. You ran down that opinion with some disgust and ridicule. I do not think that I am the only poster who can sense your obsession, possessiveness and the occasional paranoia about all things Nole. :) In any case, I was trying to be a bit funny in my first post and did put an emoticon in the second post.

There is a reason the matches are played and theoretically, anything is possible. I would put money only on Novak though if I were asked to bet on the likely semi-finalists. I will not be shocked to see any three of the remaining seven players take the other three spots.

I am sorry for the long post. I do not like to interact too much. I have said whatever I had to say. You are obviously entitled to disagree with everything that I said.


Wog Boy Says:

jane, I remember very well how close Marin came in beating Nole this year in every match they played and Marin want’s that first win against Nole, I am worried too. I remember very well Stan’s matches too and that Nole’s FH volley at AO:( so I am worried about that match too, less worried about Berdych match though.
Now let us check Roger’s side, tough one indeed, but can Milos beat Roger two times in a row, NO he can’t. Can Nishikori do it again this year, No he can’t, can Andy do it, yes he can but he is going to have huge psihological pressure infront of the fans that will be proFederer, yes I said that because I remember his match against Federer two years ago in London and I felt sorry for Andy, very likely that the result will be the same as it was then.
The key for Nole is to stay focused and I hope he will.


Wog Boy Says:

Just to add, there is only one player in the world who can beat Roger Federer time and the time again, and his name is Rafael Nadal, not Raonic, not Nishikori, not even Djokovic (2:3 this year).


Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy thanks for that :))….


jane Says:

“Can you read Novak’s mind when you say you know how he would take his opponents? ”

rogerafa, he says it *all the time* in his interviews; he repeatedly talks about “not underestimating” his opponent. And no, of course I can’t read his mind. however, i don’t think i recall him ever saying i am doing “x” deliberately to “seek attention”. i am guessing that’s more of an inference on the part of the other poster (whoever that is to which you refer).

in any case, if i mistook your sarcasm for being deriding rather than funny, my apologies. and i do appreciate your more detailed and reasoned response.

personally, i think i too have offered valid reasons for my view on why cilic can be seen as a threatening opponent, regardless of record.

after all, stan hadn’t beaten nole in their previous 10 or 11 matches until this year at AO.

but, any fan/viewer who’d watched their recent matches (ao 2013, uso 2013) saw stan was getting closer and closer.

similarly, marin has closed the gap in all their matches this year: iw, french and wimbledon (which went 5 sets).

finally, i think many many fans on here are somewhat protective of their favourite player; it’s not unique to me, though i am one of only a handful of nole fans. many of us interpret things through the perspective of who we support. some maybe more objectively than others. but there it is.


jane Says:

wog boy, appreciate your analysis and glad i’m not the only one. i see it the same, with berdy not being as much of a threat, specifically thinking of the recent match in bejing. but with stan and cilic being stronger contenders / question marks.

there is the side issue of davis cup and it could be that both stan and fed might have that in the back of their minds as a primary goal; but i am not sure – i havent read recent interviews, etc.

anyhow, as tennisvagabond said, i think there could be surprises. or it could very well be two members of the “big 4″ in the final again. it’s getting harder to predict just that though, based on what we’ve seen this year.


pogi Says:

@wog boy
“Just to add, there is only one player in the world who can beat Roger Federer time and the time again, and his name is Rafael Nadal, not Raonic, not Nishikori, not even Djokovic (2:3 this year).”

Not in the WTF. Roger beat Nadal in WTF 4-1


Wog Boy Says:

@pogi,

Ok, not in the WTF, my mistake.


skeezer Says:

“@wog boy
“Just to add, there is only one player in the world who can beat Roger Federer time and the time again, and his name is Rafael Nadal”
No, absolutely not @ WTF. Why? You assume to broad a stroke with Mr. Continual no show and, Nole can beat Fed @WTF.


skeezer Says:

Wog boy,
Not at u, but pogi


mat4 Says:

Both groups are “group of death”, and the previous H2Hs mean nothing. Something has changed this year, and the psychological advantage of the big four has melted: Wawrinka beat Djokovic and Nadal at the AO, fair and square (Rafa’s “back injury” is just another chapter in the sempiternal psychological warfare), both Novak and Fed were eliminated in the semi of the USO. At Wimbledon, Paris, they had to actually win their matches, they couldn`t wait for their opponents to melt down. The whole season was tense.

When you listen now to Grigor`s or Milos` interviews, it is clear that they mean business when they step on the court against Fed, or Novak, even Rafa. They know they can win, they feel they should win.

And don`t underestimate Nishikori or Cilic. I wrote here before the USO that Nishikori was already the 5th player of the ATP, and, on this kind of surface, indoor, Cilic is the 6th. And I don`t agree that Kei can`t beat Roger — he can beat anybody, and not only on a good day, and the only advantage players like Roger, Novak, Andy have against him is their experience and tactical sense. He has mostly lost this year against power players, and there are no such players in his group.

I don`t think that Wawa will make the semi, but with Stan, you never know: he could find his range. In that group, the slight favourites are Novak and Marin, although Berdych can beat all three, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to make the semi. The problem here is that we have three head-cases, and you never know quite what to expect from them, the best or the worst. Novak is probably the favourite only in his match against Berdych.

In Roger`s group, it’s a mess. Roger is the slight favourite in all the matches, but Raonic, Murray and Nishikori are not without serious chances against him. Nishikori vs Raonic is open.

Murray could finish first, or fourth… At his best, he is the favourite in that group, but he seldom plays his best, only in patches, and lacks self-belief of late. But he lost only to Novak since WB.

It’s wide open.


mat4 Says:

BTW, here are the rankings on Advanced baseline. They are based on H2H, not on points.

Rk Player
1 Novak Djokovic
2 Rafael Nadal
3 Roger Federer
4 Andy Murray
5 Kei Nishikori
6 Juan Martin Del Potro
7 Marin Cilic
8 David Ferrer
9 Tomas Berdych
10 Milos Raonic

http://www.sbnation.com/2014/9/17/6337555/tennis-advanced-baseline-mens-rankings-novak-djokovic


Hippy Chick Says:

I dont think theres a player that can beat Novak indoors over 3 sets with the way hes playing,like Roger with Milos,i dont think lightning can strike twice for Stan against Novak,Cilic as the H2H suggests is 10/0,ok hes played Novak close but wins are what counts not close matches,they might play 3 tight sets but Novak will again prevail,niether Stan nor Marin have played well since their GS wins,so i would say its a toss up in that match,i would give Stan the edge depending on how much hes thinking about the DC,Berdych has no chance against Novak,Stan has a better H2H against Berdych i believe?IMO i wouldnt be surprised if Berdych got whitewashed….


Giles Says:

So should the ATP hand the trophy to joker already???
Wotz the point of playing any matches against joker when according to the majority here he is going to thrash every single player that crosses his path!


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane i was wondering whether it was right to say anything but here goes anyway,with all due respect after reading Rogerafas post i do agree somewhat,a couple of days ago i congratulated Novak on playing fantastic tennis all week to win the Paris Masters,i didnt actually see the final so i didnt comment on how Raonic played against him,however even if i had i wouldnt have dared to say Raonic played poorly if i thought he had,for fear of the lambasting some of us got after the Beijing final against Berdych,at the time i believe my words were something along the lines of Novak played fantastic so i did give him credit,but the final was poor,to which we were met with the usual response of Rafa fan=Rafa fanatic,sore loser etc,because some believe things are always black or white,and also they forget the grey areas,there have been times here when Rafas beaten Novak and the naysayers claim it was a poor final,Novak played poor,and thats the only way Rafa can beat Novak etc,i believe in being fair but i think these things work both ways….


jane Says:

good analysis mat4: agree with a lot of your points.

giles, it’s true that we never know 100%. a player can be the favourite or even a heavy favourite, as rafa is anytime he steps onto clay, as federer was for years at wimbledon, but while most of us predict things will go a certain way, and they often do, it doesn’t always happen that way. hence they have to play!

this is an interesting group this year, with a number of unknown factors that throw question marks into the mix. at least for me.

hippy, if you look at the threads from sunday, after or during the match with raonic i said his serve wasn’t “on” that day. i think a good returner impacts that, but milos seemed maybe a bit nervous and made some bad errors that he didn’t make versus fed, esp at the net. it all comes down to day form. i just didn’t think berd played that badly in bejing and went with what i saw but i did see some faltering in milos and said as much. same as i said andy seemed gassed by the second set in his match with nole.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane i think you missed my point,it was the lambasting some of us got/get when we happen to see things a different way to you,especially after the Novak/Berdych Beijing final i was reffering too,still never mind….


rogerafa Says:

@ jane

“rogerafa, he says it *all the time* in his interviews; he repeatedly talks about “not underestimating” his opponent. And no, of course I can’t read his mind. however, i don’t think i recall him ever saying i am doing “x” deliberately to “seek attention”. i am guessing that’s more of an inference on the part of the other poster (whoever that is to which you refer).”

Most players say that *all the time* with Rafa taking it to the extreme. That does not mean they are not confident and treat the threat of all players equally.

It would be idiotic for Novak or any other player to say that they do “x” deliberately to “seek attention”. It is safe to say that you won’t recall any such comment by any player even if you tried very hard. Here is what Polo said based on his observation and stated his opinion which I am sure was not so outlandish as to be dismissed so rudely.

Polo Says:

Novak is trying so hard to be liked that’s why he resorts to all kinds of antics to draw attention but he stll fails to get the adulation that Federer and Nadal gets naturally from the crowd. Federer loves the attention and gets it. I don’t think Rafa craves for it as much, but he still gets it. Of the three, I think Novak is the most insecure and the one who craves for it the most.

September 2nd, 2014 at 2:43 pm

This is how you responded:

jane Says:

oh lord … are we onto reading the player’s psyches now, and their “likability” quotiant. time to check out. yes, i am so sure that’s why nole had his good friend’s daughter sing after his press conference. so he can be liked.
September 2nd, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Polo was admirably cool about it:

Polo Says:

Jane, why can we not read about players’ psyche? We all comment about their game and their psyche is a part of that, too. They are very public figures and we see and hear about them enught to have some theory idea about how they feel. And about the likeability “quotiant” (sic), as fans of the game, that’s the one factor that makes us favor one player over another.

September 2nd, 2014 at 4:10 pm

You did not make any reasoned argument. you just left which of course is your choice but that was some response to a rather polite poster. I do not want to comment on what I think of Polo’s opinion(whether it is “undeniable insecurity” or not is a matter of perception and inference and that yardstick should apply to everyone) but I brought this up to show how rudely you ran down the opinion of even Polo who very frequently says nice things about Novak and is one of the fairer posters here. You seem to get quite friendly with him when he is praising Novak and he, in my opinion, did not deserve that treatment. I think I know why he received it though. :)


alice Says:

@mat4

‘Wawrinka beat Djokovic and Nadal at the AO, fairand square, (Rafa’s back injury is just another chapter in the sempiternal psychological warfare)’

Sorry but I really can’t let that one go.
During the British coverage of Roland Garros Jim Courier said at one point ‘I have no doubt that if Rafa had not injured his back he would have come back and beaten Wawrinka’ evidently I have to quote from memory but his words were pretty much exactly that. Courier is no Rafa fan boy and talked at some length along with other French ex players and greats about how clearly he had been struggling with his back and how that was utterly apparent to them all – they referenced Miami in particular. So are they all part of this sempiternal warfare? the thing I like most about listening to the ex players is that they see very clearly what is going on on the court and tell it like it is.


jane Says:

crap. well now i feel badly about that response to polo. i agree with you rogerafa that he’s a fair poster whose pithy comments are often on the mark. i remember i had read a lot of criticism that morning about nole asking his friend’s daughter to sing, so perhaps it was frustration.

polo, please let me extend my apologies for not replying then. i think all players want to be liked,but definitely some care more than others. nole definitely has that “entertainer” quality to him, so maybe that’s where it comes from in him, i don’t know. i am not sure if he’s insecure as i don’t know him, but judging by what i’ve read and watched, he seems sensitive. anyhow your opinion was and is valid and i am sorry for snapping that day.

hippy, if you go back to that thread, you’ll see that i never lambasted anyone because as i said then i didn’t see the final and only saw stats and highlights after. i also said i thought you made valid points about berdy. here’s the thread.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2014-10-05/17254.php

at this point, i’ve responded enough about my posting, past and present, so i’ll leave the topic behind with all these things in consideration. i don’t mind the feedback. it’s been enlightening.

i actually still maintain that cilic is a considerable threat (going back to the point of this thread) but we won’t know until we see his form on the day to what degree of one. he, like the other noobs, is a bit of an unknown entity because they’ve all made strides towards stronger games and belief this year, as is evident in their results.


rogerafa Says:

I do not always take the Rafa injury soap opera seriously but he did appear hampered for a stretch of time in the final and it was affecting his game adversely. I am not sure if he would have definitely beaten Stan if he were fit throughout the match. Stan, after all, was the player of the tournament. We can only speculate about it. Rafa also got lucky with Novak’s sickness at RG. It works both ways.


jane Says:

hippy, hmmm, maybe i mistook your point to be one about objectivity as opposed to being one about dissenting views? as i said then, and above, with the berdy match i could go only with what i saw (highlights/stats) and he seemed to have played well based on that. and similarly with andy/milos matches i thought i saw issues in the opponents (tiredness/bad first serve). i think nole/berd is a match up issue. in any case, i didn’t or don’t mean to lambast and actually thought the conversation between you and i on that bejing thread was congenial. it got more heated later on between others and fans of different players, but as i said above, i do think many fans sometimes have skewed perceptions because of who their faves are, not only me. but some posters are better able to maintain objectivity for sure.


alice Says:

@rogerafa

No of course one can’t know for definite who would have won but like Courier my money would have been on Rafa (my thinking always goes who would I bet on if the outcome really was serious for me and there is no way I would bet on Stan even a set to the good against Rafa if Rafa was uninjured.).
As for RG I thought RAfa was in a worse state than Nole in the fourth set (as did the commies who included Courier) and I was pretty amazed he pulled off the win. They were both really suffering that day.


alice Says:

@rogerafa

also I seem to remember reading Sean here saying he didn’t notice Nole suffering until AFTER Rafa had taken control. I think his words were ‘I would be feeling pretty sick if I had thrown away the career slam’ he also said he didn’t see any belief in Nole’s eyes…


brando GOAT poster Says:

Re Rafa v Wawa: yeah I completely agree with Courier, rafa would have had wawa. Sure I am his fan but I say this based on how I see it as objectively as possible think about it. Wawa, so we are told, was blowing rafa off the court in the first set. Ok. Yet stats show his 1st serve in % was less than 60 for that set, he only broke rafa once and was blatantly choking when serving for the set. Rafa had him at 0-40 without playing any great tennis. To me:dwawrinka was going all guns blazing yet he was nowhere near his top level, and his nerves were visibly apparent to me. He was feeling the occasion and one felt rafa only needed to stay with him since wawa would definitely have cracked at some point. The funny thing is- and saying it now it seems easy to say- but I remember during the first set thinking rafa looks unusually subdued, his body language was poor and he seemed strangely worrisome. I found that strange at the time considering how he beat Fed in SF, was in his 19 th grand slam final v a opponent who is in his first one and has NEVER won a set against him in 10 plus matches let alone a match! Now though with the knowledge of how his back played up prior to the match then it’s quite possible that he was concerned how that would play up. But let’s put that aside and go with the critics: rafa was getting pasted ok. But has rafa not faced even more dominant opponents who thrashed him a greater manner and still not won? Surely he can have a chance to to turn it around in a best of 5 v a opponent who has never won a set off him previously? Rafa has been whupped in past and I have no issues with it. Fed has, ditto nole and Andy. He’s a great player but not immune to a lose or a thrashing like any pro! Yet I honestly cannot help but think had his back not played up he would have had wawa: no matter what he did v others since a slam final and that too against a legend like rafa who’s also his nightmare matchup is a different ball game. So yes: I agree with Courier and also with wawa’s coach Magnus Norman who later said-paraphrasing here- it’s obvious wawa caught Rafael on a bad day. I wonder why he would say such a thing. Ultimately it’s done now and as a fan I just hope rafa gets a chance to redeem himself at the AO. And I think he wants it to: more than anything for closure on the heartache his suffered there.


rogerafa Says:

@ alice

I agree about Rafa’s edge over Stan but Stan was not your usual Stan at the AO. He played at a really high level and beat Novak on his way to the final. I could definitely see him getting a set( or two or three) at least in that kind of form. I think Rafa’s back was fine in the first set. I totally disagree about RG though. I do not think Rafa was in worse shape to begin with. He got bad towards the end but, by that time, the outcome had been decided more or less. Novak’s sickness allowed Rafa to take control of the match during the crucial middle part. Rafa deserves credit for closing it out but it was Novak who was unfortunate there just as Rafa was at AO.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane yeah ive just read the thread,i was just telling it from my POV about how i saw the match,i have always believed in being fair,and i just hope it comes across that way in my posts,granted i do tend to get it wrong and go off on a rant sometimes,but i just get fed up up with having to apologize for having a difference of opinion,or coming across as some apologetic Rafa fan,so i will say whatever i want just like everybody else here does….


brando GOAT poster Says:

Re rafa v nole at RG: again I agree with Courier and feel rafa was in. Poor state in that match. He even said post match he went for the kill in the 4th set since he knew he would not be able to deal with a 5th set since his body was wilting in the heat. I don’t know about nole’s situation to be honest. If he said he was not feeling great then I believe him. Being truthful about it: I only learned about post FO on here since I was not really in the loop regarding matters with nole: I was far too invested in woory regarding rafas abject clay performance! Sure he won FO but rafa would be the first to admit his tennis for his level was dismal to say the least this clay season, quite atrocious to watch at times and I say that as a die hard fan of his.


rogerafa Says:

@ alice

I watched the entire final and Novak looked extremely frail for a long stretch of the match. The look on his face was not that of a person raring to compete. It was sad to see but that happens sometimes. From the depth of that sinking feeling, he got to experience the high of the wimby win in a matter of a month.


alice Says:

@rogerafa

yes Rafa’s game didn’t go off until late in the match at RG but it went off so badly that I thought he wasn’t going to be able to hold on (so did the commies). My quote from Sean that Nole’s sickness was after Rafa started to take control is accurate I think!! but we can agree to differ…
I am sure you will agree with me though that Rafa is very hard to beat on Chatrier and Nole himself referenced that afterwards saying that it was very difficult to stay with RAfa on that court..you could do it for a while but then….!! when you win 9 times out of 10 you make your own luck.


Hippy Chick Says:

About the Wawa match,i remember at the time some posters claiming Rafa being hampered might have aided Stan in the AO win,personally i dont know as Rafa has actually struggled a few times before with injury at the AO,although fitness is all part of the game,and Stan was Rafa wasnt,he also lost to Novak in 2012 and was physically fine,anyway Stan won whether fair or square doesnt really matter?….


alice Says:

‘rogerafa’

also I may be being curmudgeonly but I think Stan’s performance was a tad overblown…for me it was more about Nole losing a match he damn well should have won and then Rafa’s injury. Nole was the better player in the fifth set and I have no idea why he gave up the early break with a dreadful game and then at the end played that awful Becker-induced volley. Also Nole and Stan did have some history but Stan had lost 36 straight sets to Rafa so I am sorry but I just don’t buy him beating an injury-free Rafa in a slam…I can remember Rafa being behind in other matches and coming back. ie Wimbledon 2011 he was down a set and a break to Murray and still won…that’s nothing for him to come back from…also Murray is a way better player than Stan.


rogerafa Says:

@ alice

Who can question Rafa’s greatness let alone at RG? He was nowhere at his best this year though. Of course, even with that level, only Novak had a realistic chance of beating Rafa. He missed a golden opportunity because Rafa seemed ripe for the picking.


jane Says:

okay hippy, thanks and sounds good. i don’t think we should have to apologize either. but discussion of different views is good even if people still feel the way they felt when it started.


alice Says:

@rogerafa…yes RAfa had had a terrible clay court season..in fact he was pretty awful all the way through from AO so I was very worried. But he is different over 5 sets on that court…Nole is my second favourite so I would like to see him get the career slam as I think it must be at least arguable that if he does not do so that he is the player who most deserved it. A big claim I know but to push the king of clay in the way he has done forcing him to change his game…he utterly deserves it and is a brilliant player and all time great. (Just don’t want him to beat Rafa! but given Rafa’s issues one year you would imagine that Nole will get a Rafa free run in which case I will be cheering him on!)


rogerafa Says:

@ alice

I love your polite and gentle approach. Are you British?

We will never know, will we? Nobody expected the pasting that Roger got at the hands of Marin at the USO. A bad day at the office for you and the day of your opponent’s life can make anything possible. Based on past record, Rafa obviously should continue beating Stan. That is why he was favored to win that final against a first time finalist who was nervous as well. Destiny had planned something else though. There’s always a first time. I think Stan can be a formidable opponent when he is playing well.


alice Says:

@rogerafa

thanks for that! yes I am British..hence my referencing Courier over the ITV RG coverage…I do like him although I know others don’t so much. (although not those awful personal post-match interviews at AO! – am sure we will get more of those in January!) But I think he does tell it like it is.
As you say, one can never really know…


rogerafa Says:

@ alice

“curmudgeonly” nailed it for me. Please stick around. I am not always polite and tend to be a bit of a contrarian. I normally avoid interacting with posters but it felt really nice chatting with you. Thanks!


alice Says:

@rogerafa.

thanks again! we’ll talk again in the future, no?


alice Says:

@rogerafa.

thanks again! we’ll talk again in the future, no?


elina Says:

Agreed. Nole had a few key mental let downs that allowed Wawrinka to edge out that win.

It is not the first time this has happened to Nole in the latter stages of a slam (which is why he hired Boris) and it may not be the last. I believe it was a factor at both the French Open and US Open losses this year (in addition to the heat at both).

It was the perfect storm for Wawrinka when combined with Nadal’s back injury.

Kudos to Wawrinka for seizing the opportunity and etching his name in tennis history.


alice Says:

@elina

do you think that Boris has helped with the mental problems? I can’t really see it…I think that the kind of internal dialogue which Becker used to gee himself is not of the kind to help Nole partly given the huge disparities in their playing styles. Not sure that Nole ‘going for it’ in a Becker-esque way ie with the awful AO volley hasn’t actually harmed him.


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane may thanks :))….


Hippy Chick Says:

^Many not may^….


contador Says:

Hope Cilic does well. He has the power and skills to hit everyone off the court… much like dear Delpo.

jane, very much enjoy reading your posts. If there was an award for tennis-x poster of the year, you definitely have my vote(s) ; )

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