Roger Federer v Marin Cilic In The Wimbledon Final, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | July 15th, 2017, 1:17 pm

So it shouldn’t be a big surprise to have Roger Federer and Marin Cilic in the Wimbledon final. Why? Well, that’s what I picked at the start of the event. And I don’t see myself going back on that now.

Yesterday, Federer played just well enough to thwart a game Tomas Berdych. I thought Federer wasn’t at his best at times (some sloppy play) while Berdych played pretty well. But in the breakers and late in the third Berdych relented and Federer closed him out.

Roger reaches his 11th Wimbledon final and he does it by not giving up a single set for a third time en route to the title match. I thought Federer would get back, but I figured he lose a set or two somewhere. Clearly he’s in form and hasn’t dropped a set since that Stuttgart loss.

So too is Cilic. The big 6-foot-6 Croat stopped Sam Querrey’s best-ever Slam, beating the American in four tough sets. Cilic choked in that first set breaker after that delay at 6-6, then got right. Late in the fourth, Marin again showed some nerves getting broken but down the stretch he was able to convincingly finish off Sam.

Obviously, it was a great result for Sam beating Andy Murray to reach his first semifinal at a Slam. At 29, maybe this can be bigger and better things. We’ll see. He’s got a big enough game but does he have the desire to match it?

We know Federer and Cilic are not lacking in that department. To the final.

Roger Federer v Marin Cilic
The old saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” comes to mind here. Just like earlier today, we all just thought Venus Williams would get that 6th Grand Slam title. Why? She’s Venus! And the other girl, well, she’s not a legend, not a No. 1, she’ll come apart, especially on grass.

But that’s why they play. Venus fought hard for about 40 minutes then got rocked by the younger, better, stronger, Garbine Muguruza.

And I think that kind of applies to the men’s final. We have an ageing legend in Federer against a younger, hungrier Cilic. And like Muguruza, Cilic isn’t afraid because he has big Grand Slam title winning the US Open in 2014 when he shocked Federer in the semifinals.

Cilic also should have beaten Roger at Wimbledon in the quarterfinals. The tough loss dropped Cilic to 1-6 against Federer. Now, he’s got a shot for some revenge, finer revenge because it would mean a second Slam.

“It would mean absolutely a world to me,” Cilic said of possibly winning Wimbledon. “I feel that when I won the US Open in 14, it just opened so many possibilities in my mind for the rest of my career. To be able to do it again would definitely mean, I would say, even more ’cause I know how much it meant for me to win that first one.

“It would be absolutely a dream come true to win Wimbledon here.”

Going inside the matchup. As always on grass, the serve will be the barometer and along with those big points – maybe a tiebreaker or a break point. That’s often what it comes down to.

“I have to play offensive,” Federer said. “If you give Marin now time on the ball, he can finish points nicely. The court is still playing quite fast. It helps on my serve, but it also helps him. I’m sure it’s going to be a close match.”

We know Federer is one of the all-time greats when it matters the most. To beat Federer on grass, Cilic will have to be that good. Can he be? I know he’ll be tough on serve and overall he’s just better than Berdych, but can he come through in those key moments? If he can, he’ll win the match.

But I think Federer will again win the key points and Cilic gets tight again. Like I said, Federer didn’t look great against Berdych, but Cilic had his own issues against Querrey.

In a title match, Federer has the experience and at almost 36, the urgency to know these chances won’t come around much more (chances like winning a Slam without beating Rafa, Andy or Novak!). Cilic, though, is saying the right things.

“I believe this is his home court, place where he feels the best and knows that he can play the best game,” assessed Cilic. “Obviously I’m going to look back, as well, 12 months ago I was one point away from winning a match over here against him. Definitely I believe that if I’m going to be playing him, in my own abilities to get through and to win it.

“But I still know that it’s a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe one of his best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it’s going to be a huge challenge. But I believe I’m ready.”

Cilic will be ready and I think he gets a set or two to keep things close, but in the end Federer pulls through in a tight one.
The Pick: Federer in 5

Virtually any results wouldn’t shock me here. Federer could sweep Cilic and Cilic cloud just get hot like the US Open and run Roger off the court. And maybe Cilic fights off Federer in five sets. I could see that, also.

But again, the women’s final served as a reminder that you still have to play the match. And the sentimental pick doesn’t alway work out.

ESPN will have live coverage of the men’s final at 9am ET.

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54 Comments for Roger Federer v Marin Cilic In The Wimbledon Final, Who’s The Pick?

madmax Says:

Some of the stats for both players –

I agree Sean. It could go either way, but c’mon!

Federer in 4.

FedExpress Says:

So nervous. A bit more than at the AO final. I said after the final he can every match from now on. He can. But he is again so near to achieve something historical.

This season in general could go down (if it isnt already) one of the best in the history of the game.

American summer and indoor season still to come.

Come Roger, win it and delete all the memories from the last 4 Wimbledons.

Berghain Says:


Totally agree. I feel the same. Just imagine – oldest Wimbledon Champ in the open Era. Its an insanely huge occasion.

He must leave it all out there, even if he is hobbled till US open, this Trophy is to important. He simply must Win.

Angel Says:

Does anyone knows if in the open era a male player who reaches a Slam Final without losing a set has lost that final? I think not and that’s why I think Federer wins.

madmax Says:

On paper, Federer should win; however, not having lost a set all tournament does not maketh the winner. Mental acuity, desire, hunger, variety of skills, willpower, talent – it’s on Federer’s racquet.

Cilic is the underdog and we all know what an underdog plays with – freedom.

Federer will not have this handed to him on a plate. I expect a hard fought match with Federer still to come through. He’s played Cilic in the quarter finals, and came through – Cilic though, if he ever gets into that position, will not make the same mistake again.

Roger has to take this early, has to take the first set early.

Fedex, stay calm. You make me nervous!

madmax Says:

The quarter finals last year, where Roger was two sets down, to Cilic, showed how strong Federer’s will power was and will still be, but he simply must not allow the ghosts of the past to deter him in his quest for an eighth Wimbledon. It’s all for the taking.

Some people have not taken into account how strong Roger is in these tight moments, with Cilic’s match last year, that was one of those moments.

They know each other well, and have played each other many times – as Berghain said, Fed must leave it all out on centre court tomorrow. This is it. This is what he has been waiting for, for the last 4 years, the chance to go one step further.

As a Fed fan, of course, I hope for this.

steve-o Says:

Relax, madmax. If Federer brings his absolute best game tomorrow, he wins in straight sets irrespective of what Cilic does. If nerves hit, Cilic has a real chance but Federer could still walk out with the title.

I think he’s quite hungry to win after being denied in ’14 and ’15, and the difficult loss in the semis last year. He handles pressure well, he can embrace the magnitude of the moment and be at peace with it.

It’s not being the oldest champion Wimbledon that matters so much to Federer. It’s just the joy of winning Wimbledon one more time. If he focuses on that, he’ll win.

Daniel Says:

Fed”s return game is better than Muller and Querrey, and they were bale to break Cilic multiple times. Muller broke 3 times and Querrey 2.

Fed also handles big serves well and he got 2 back to back to fine tune his return game.

skeezer Says:

Good points Daniel and agree, Fed just needs to have that offensive attack mojo from AO-Miami, don’t let Cilic dictate. I key will be(a usual at Wimbledon), serve and return. Hope he can read Cilic’s serve like the other big servers he has faced. There is no match after this, so let it fly!

el_matador Says:

rooting for roger today…I could not stand him in 04-10 period(I hate domination)..but after he was “exposed” in the ” greatest era of tennis”,it’s nice to see him stil kicking butts..I remember the time 1-2 years ago the ” tennis experts” here saying that roger was only playing for the money(I thought he’d earned enough money before then)..they said roger lied when he was playing for the love for the game..they said he would never win a slam so funny..big big respect to roger for his dedication to the game/”love for the game”..of all his virtues,that’s the greatest to me..

jatin Says:

Very nervous for today. But I know if fed brings his A game he would handle whatever Cilic throws at him.
Just 1 match Fed. HISTORY AWAITS

Jojo pogi Says:

Fed should finish it by 3 sets or the most 4sets… otherwise younger guy will have a big chance.

Go Federer. 💪👍

Michael Says:

Well if Roger managed to replicate the form he has exhibited so far in the tournament barring that minor Blip against Berdych, he will most likely win without losing a set irrespective of how well Cilic plays. But on the other hand, if the 2011-2016 version of Roger turns up,it would be an even match going the distance with a slight edge to Roger. Chances for Cilic will come if Roger plays too badly to shank shots at will and the first serve totally deserts him. Such a prospect is one hundredth of a chance which can fructify in the rarest of rare instance. So, my gut sense tells me that Roger will gift a set utmost to create another history and further solidify his legendary status in the annals of sporting history which would be celebrated for generations to come and him becoming immortal till human kind exists in universe.

DC Says:

No way fed loses in the final
Fed has always been able to find the extra gear in a slam final.
Look at what he did on the 5th set of the AO final.
His previous 2 encounters with Nole at wimby finals were something similar with fed finding the extra gear…he ended up losing, however his level of play was at a much superior level.

Fed in 3. He won’t let this go. He just wants it more than anyone else today.

Michael Says:

If the match against Querrey is a guiding factor, then Cilic won thanks due to a vast number of UEs. It was not that Querrey was outclassed by the superiority of the opponent. He could have well given a tougher fight going the distance. Nevertheless, Cilic is one of those players you don’t know what to expect ? He can blaze away or blown away and his tennis is unpredictable making the toughest of shots with consummate ease and shank the easiest of shots. So, it gets really curious and interesting as well.

Michael Says:

If Roger wins the first set, he will run away with the match while vice-versa would make the competition more intense and even ended although Roger can still make it as he did against Andy in 2012. But both the players will be nervous for different reasons. The player who will handle it better will hold the edge. Roger by virtue of his match experience should be highly favoured in that department more than Cilic.

Mjj288 Says:

I’m thinking Roger in 4 due to his form and having played Berdych and Raonic before who have similar styles.

Losses one set due to nerves, drop of level and Cilic is still good.

Margot Says:

Congrats to Sean or his picks, and me and AM too of course. ;)

squirrel Says:

I hope Fed wins in three to make it sweeter, but I think it will be in 4! Go Fed, so so poroud of you, leave it all out there, I’m sure he will!

squirrel Says:


I also predicted Cilic-Fed final in the bracket ;)

Margot Says:

squirrel: you are a genius. Leave the day job at once and take up a new career as a professional gambler!

madmax Says:

Great posts Tennis-Xer’s!

Come on The Mighty Fed. One more match.

Steve-0 , I hear you. :-)

Will be a great match, simply because these two guys have fought their way through this tournament and God, come on Fed, be in God like Zone today!

Willow Says:

Unless the Cilic that won the USO in 2014 shows up, i think it will be easy pickings for Federer, probably the easiest GS hes ever won, scoreline along the lines of the FO final in 2008, hopefully no Virginia Wade or Annabelle Croft in the sudios fawning, Sue Barkers bad enough urgh ….

J-Kath Says:

Willow: Wade, Croft, Barker – bad enuf – but the star-fawner + biggest bore is the creature called Andrew Castle – I have to put a fire-guard over my TV in case I throw something at it.

So who will win? – Cilic has a chance – his chance will improve if he wins the 1st set. However,feel certain the Fed. will up his performance as required.

FedExpress Says:

Guys, 3 hours till play and I am already dying.

Willow Says:

True J-Kath and Henmans another one, but seems a bit more neutral, but Wade struggles to hide the distain in her voice, when any player has the audacity to beat her precious Roger ….

Willow Says:

Fedexpress i really worry over your state of mind sometimes ….

FedExpress Says:

Willow, problem is these days does not come often lately. But when they come, it is a inner fight.

Willow Says:

Fedexpress the man has 18 GS, think of all those players only there to make up the numbers, those that have never even won a title, or been in a final of a tournament, jeez if these players and their fans only had such problems as Federer, a little perspective wouldnt go a miss ….

Berghain Says:

Crunch time is around the corner ppl. Fasten your seat-belts, take your beta-blockers, bring out the strong stuff.
Its going down. :)

Berghain Says:

I personally prefer Ketamin when Federer plays – helps me relax.
Joking!!! :))

J-Kath Says:

Berghain: If it continues past the cocktail hour nothing works as well as Scotch on the rocks.

Willow: Yep! Wade reserves her greatest disdain for Andy Murray…many examples…..but, her eyesight ain’t wot it was, maybe she’ll think Cilic is Andy and will comments will be dismissive…..

Margot Says:

J-Kath and Willow: her nickname is “Virginia The Creeper.”

Berghain Says:

J-Kath I agree, love it!

Unfortunately fitness and health has become a bit of an obsession with me lately. So Ill enjoy one of those in a month maybe.

Berghain Says:

I havent even been going to techno clubs… so you know im serious ;)

squirrel Says:


Owhh thank you, but I didn’t so well on men’s bracket, just got lucky for the ladies :)

squirrel Says:


I like Sue Backer very much! She’s a great interviewer imo.

Willow Says:

Sqirrel ill agree to disagree with you there my friend :-)

squirrel Says:


Hahahah, but I’m running out of beta-blockers ;)
Worst case, I’ll take my Xanax ;))

Willow Says:

And congrats on the bracket picking Squirrel, mine were both abysmal, i havent actually bothered to look ….

squirrel Says:

Ketamine is too sedatif, you won’t enjoy the match ;)

squirrel Says:


Thanks so much Willow. I got really lucky by picking Garbine, she deserves it but my heart breaks for poor Venus…she’s so gracious though

squirrel Says:

Thanks to non-Fed fans for being here even though your favourites are not here. It makes this forum much more fun with your presence here! :)

skeezer Says:

A priner;

Hope he is THAT guy today!

skeezer Says:


Berghain Says:

Hold onto that Xanax, you maybe need it should the worst happen, God forbid!

Willow Says:

Squirrel the none Federer fans for sticking around lol,you get the feeling your getting in the way though as a none fan, your not really relevant, left you a good luck message on FB earlier ….

Berghain Says:

Good luck Fed! Do your best.

squirrel Says:

Oh Willow, you’re always relevant, with your warm presence here :)

J-Kath Says:

Margot: What a great name for Wade – maybe she’s even a species of Japanese knotweed….unwanted across the world.

Berghain: Well done with health and fitness awareness. However, Scotch whisky’s real name is “Water of Life”.

Willow Says:

J-Kath lol ….

squirrel Says:

Roger breaks, yay!

squirrel Says:

First set to Fed! Seems a bit quiet here :)

Emilia Says:

Although my man #1 is Novak, I must say that Fed is really the greatest of all time – 8 Wimbledon titles and 19 Grand Slams. Wow! But also dignified and always having good manners, never crying on the court… such a personality!! Congrats to all his fans….

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