Roger Federer v Marin Cilic For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | January 27th, 2018, 9:01 am
  • 56 Comments

So, a Wimbledon rematch in the Australian Open final is set, and it’s 5-time champion Roger Federer facing first-time Melbourne finalist Marin Cilic.

Federer rolls into the final without losing a single set all week – quite the contrast from a year ago. And that after a 1-hour or so lesson he gave to 21-year-old Hyeon Chung who has apparently taken this Novak Djokovic idol thing too far already by retiring in a Slam semi – you can’t do that Hyeon!

Anyway, Federer looks great, though let’s admit it, he hasn’t played anyone of note. Tomas Berdych had two first set points in their quarterfinal before he remembered who he was. Otherwise, Federer’s coasted into the 30th Grand Slam final barely breaking a sweat, which might be a bad thing if the final goes long on what is expected to be a very warm night.

Meanwhile, Cilic was the beneficiary of retirement himself, that by Rafael Nadal who pulled up lame with an upper leg injury which thankfully we’ve now learned isn’t that bad. Cilic also had no issues in his semifinal knocking out youngster Kyle Edmund in straights – both Kyle and Hyeon got a rude welcome to big time tennis. Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round pushed him a little bit. Still, after a post-Wimbledon slump, the 29-year-old Croat is back to winning again and playing with confidence, so that’s good.

As for the final…

Roger Federer v Marin Cilic
This will be their 10th career meeting and it’s Federer who leads 8-1. Most recently Federer got over on the blistering Cilic at Wimbledon then came from a set down to win at the ATP Finals to win a tight one.

Of course Cilic’s only win was back in the 2014 US Open semifinals when he blew out Federer, among other people that week. And that’s the kind of performance Cilic will need on Sunday to collect a second Slam.

Going deeper, granted he hasn’t played anyone that tough, but Federer’s been so solid on serve, and he’ll have to be that good to win his 20th. And I expect Roger tp again mix up his shots, especially using the slice against the taller foe.

As for Cilic, crack that serve and hopefully get hot like New York. And go for broke. He’s got a second chance at atoning for Wimbledon, so take advantage. Federer’s the favorite and Cilic should go after the Swiss. And I think the hard court’s give Marin a better chance against Roger than the grass.

And early on, Cilic absolutely cannot let Federer get an early break. To me, once Federer gets on top, that will be it. He’s such a good frontrunner.

That said, Federer is 36 and, as I keep saying, at some point the magic is going to run out. We saw him lose to Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open and to David Goffin in London, the latter still a shocker to me. And Cilic does have a Slam and he did beat Federer en route to that title, and he’s won a set in four of their last five meetings.

So unlike a Richard Gasquet or a Berdych, Cilic has got to have some belief. But will it be enough?

Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Cilic won because he’s capable of taking the racquet out of your hand. And the longer the match goes, the more I would favor Marin. However, I just have to go with Roger here. Thirteen straight wins in Melbourne, he hasn’t dropped a set, 5-1 in finals in Melbourne and 8-1 against Cilic. Marin puts up a good fight…
The Pick: Federer in Four

ESPN will have the coverage starting at 3:30am for you early birds. Or just tape it and don’t look at social media like me (if I don’t wake up!).


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56 Comments for Roger Federer v Marin Cilic For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?

Giles Says:

Who’s the pick? Now let’s see. Which player has had the most comfortable journey thus far aided by a cup cake draw, favourable schedules and general favouritism? Well, you know who!


Santoro Says:

Federer has a unique advantage: a lot of players are such big fans/admirers of his that they actually deep-down don’t want to beat him. P.S. the crowd will be massively behind the Fed.


Madmax Says:

Analysis
Boris Becker, six-time Grand Slam champion, told Radio 5 live:

I don’t think Roger believed 18 months ago that he would be back in the winner’s circle on a regular basis in Grand Slams.

But he persevered, improved, changed tactics a little bit and played more offensive. Roger, with the technique he has and the very soft footwork, I wonder how he keeps his body in shape at the 36.

Cilic certainly has the game to beat Federer – the powerful baseline game, the serve, he has a Grand Slam win under his belt, beating Federer along the way.

Everything that you want going into a Grand Slam final against Federer, he has, the question always with Cilic is mentally.

How strong is he? How stable is he? He looked very strong against Nadal, I thought that was the best Cilic I’ve seen in a long, long time, so the cards are looking good.

Goran Ivanisevic, former Wimbledon champion and ex-coach of Cilic, told 5 live:

This is going to be a different final than Wimbledon, for sure.

This court is better for Marin. He needs to serve well and he needs to press Roger from the beginning of the match, then he has a chance, otherwise he doesn’t have any chance.

You need to maintain your tennis from the first to the last point, very high. When you’re on top of him, you need to stay on top of him.

If for one second you stop – you’re gone. You have 15,000 people against you, you have Roger waiting for you to slip.

This court is very good for Marin, it’s very quick. But the guy across the net is also in amazing form and wants to win his 20th Grand Slam. I think Roger is the little favourite, but let’s say Roger in five sets.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/42844927

Let’s go, Let’s go Roger!


Madmax Says:

Giles,

Yeah. We know.

Rafa. Look at Sean’s first thread, Rafa’s ‘cupcake’ draw. Deal with it Giles.


Giles Says:

Do not give me instructions you withthe big red blouse and black scarf.


Madmax Says:

Giles,

I do believe you are depressed. I understand. Must be an awful feeling, but you know, go and watch Rafa in his next match. Might be good therapy for you.

Poor Giles.


Giles Says:

Poor madmax. Trying her best to humour herself It ain’t gonna happen at my expense.


Andrew Miller Says:

Great post, Sean. I agree that Chung and Edmund inconveniently remembered they were playing the biggest matches of their lives (after already having played them during the tournament).

This is shaping up to be a good match, not the final most were expecting and also a final that the tournament can hold up with pride. I’ll go with a good match, as Cilic has motivation to get one on Federer and Federer has a long memory and any loss, no matter how distant, is motivation too.

The Australian Open wins with two quality finals.


jatin Says:

From what I have seen of Cilic, he is playing some sublime tennis. His match against Rafa was super intense and he was blasting his forehands with some speed.
Cilic likes rhythm to hit his ground strokes as hard as he could from the baseline and that is what Fed won’t allow him to do on regular basis. His variety would make Cilic guessing all the time.
Fed has to serve effectively and above 60% to keep Cilic in pressure all the time. He has to start solid and try to get an early break like he did against Chung.
Even though I am little nervous for the match, I just don’t see Fed losing it given the way he is playing right now. He has conserved his energy throughout the tournament, rarely played his best and upped his level when necessary. This style of play is super efficient for his body, he is well rested and relaxed. Hope he plays as free as he did against Rafa last year.
Just one more match fed. I know you can do it.

Lets go.


jatin Says:

Sean also predicted last year Wimbledon final correct (apart from the sets)
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2017-07-15/26528.php

So I hope, his prediction comes true this time as well :)


Giles Says:

Don’t worry Jatin, it’s in the bag, as they say.


Daniel Says:

Agree with Sean, Fed in 4.


Okiegal Says:

It’s a no brainer……Feddy brat all the way!!


squirrel Says:

Hope Fed in three tight, scintillating sets. Would be super sweet for him to win another Slam without losing a set!


rognadfan Says:

Damn, Be ready for the usual cupcake draw, doping and other s..t to come out of these jealous fanatics for about next 3-4 weeks, if Roger wins this.
Rafa could not finish the match, he was going to loose that 4th set even if he was totally fit. And cilic was kicking ass by that point in the match. So, rafa lost. Fact.
Now go find a non-sense jealous twitter post and a blog post showing roger’s veins.


Amit Says:

Federer win creates much jealousy in some folks. But its ok so long as Fed is winning. Hope Fed wins tomorrow and I celebrate with my wine. 🐧🐧🐧


Amit Says:

Haha rognadfan, love your post!👌👌👌


Andrew Miller Says:

I appreciate Cilic is looking forward to the match. That is a refreshing approach and should help him put his nerves in the right direction. With Federer it has generally been a case of whether and how long an opponent can keep playing their game. Federer used to take the foot off the pedal to open the door slightly to players like Djokovic and Del Potro at slams. He’s learned from that and has figured out how to blow open a match when he and his opponent are playing at a draw.

I like this new capability of Federer, who plays more like an underdog, and I also like how Cilic has also approached his matches with more confidence. That’s why I think this should be a good match, and also why I can’t predict who will win. Make some popcorn! Should be fun.


Madmax Says:

Come on Fed!

Funny post Rognadfan 😂😁😀


j-kath Says:

To Regular Posters : Tx has suddenly becoming quite disturbing and I don’t enjoy exchanges here anymore.


Tony N Says:

Given that (a) Federer and Cilic are buddies and have been practice partners for many years (since the Bob Brett days) and (b) the tennis world needs an entertaining final after what happened in both semifinals…

This is unlikely to be a three setter… unless Cilic gets blisters or some other injury again.

Probably a four setter or maybe five setter depending on whether Federer and Cilic decide to split either one set each or two sets each before fighting for the remaining sets. Don’t be surprised if Cilic wins the first set.

The trouble with Federer is that he has a soft spot for his buddies, especially when they cry. And that could get him into trouble. If only he was more ruthless.

John McEnroe’s view
https://video.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/australian-open/2018/goat-or-croatian-shepherd-the-commissioner-gives-his-take-on-the-mens-final._vid1031085/video.shtml

Roger Federer on verge of GOAT status beyond just tennis
http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/27/roger-federer-verge-goat-status-beyond-just-tennis-7265636/


t4t Says:

J-kath @ 6:08: Do you mean me?


Okiegal Says:

@J-Kath 6:08……….nor do I………🤮🤮🤮


j-kath Says:

t4t: It’s more recent than you. Excuse me, but I don’t want to be specific…it would upset me. I’m going to quit posting for a while.

Okie: “See” U later, hopefully.


Okiegal Says:

@JK……….Me too………


t4t Says:

jk and okie, I will definitely miss you. The site has been taken over by the cult.
Wog Boy, jk, okie, Giles are sane voices, even Willow to some extent.
I will watch how things go. If none of you post here, I shall go into hibernation.


Danica Says:

J-Kath,
I took a few months off and didn’t miss posting here. Not that it enriches one’s life at all for sure.

As for the men final, I’ll be awake and just try to enjoy the good shotmaking. I don’t care for either of the players and don’t want either to win. I usually always root for someone, not this time. I hope that in case he wins, Cilic is not going to celebrate with any fascist performers. If Roger wins, we’ll never hear the end of praises. Winning GSs with weak or depleted field is a no brainer for a superb player that he is.

Cilic for the win.


j-kath Says:

Danica; Can’t resist – I am 100% with your above sentiments. Really off now.


t4t Says:

I hope Cilic wins, otherwise this site will become unbearable. But with the rigged draw and favorable scheduling, Fed is peaking at the right time and is well rested. Cilic had a tough draw and he played matches in the heat. He doesn’t have Fed’s stamina ( courtesy u of b). So Fed is favored to win.


Tony N Says:

Please confine comments to Sean Randall’s blog article. Off topic comments, whining and toxicity should be done on the Off Topic Thread in link. Otherwise it pollutes these blog threads.
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2018-01-01/27562.php


t4t Says:

I think there should be a separate thread for you, Tony N. By the way I read the above post as it was surprisingly short.
Have you any updates on Fed’s magic potion?


rognadfan Says:

This site has already been unbearable because of the hatred and jealousy towards Federer. Even more ironic is the fact that all the vocal and silent Fed haters have been playing the victim. Like the racist white supremacists saying that their race has been neglected and oppressed and they only want their voice heard so that they will not be oppressed.

But it seems the praises Fed gets from around is somehow piercing these haters skin and causing such pain to them that they feel compelled to either scour the internet for fake and hateful blogs/tweets etc., or just write a post with hateful words


Daniel Says:

Agree rognadfan,

This site used to be more tolerant. Lately the hatred towards Federer by all fan bases is astonishing me, people are showing their true colors.

I used to enjoy coming here always, but the tennis information exchange decreased a lot and most sounds just bitter most of the time.

I hope it changes!


Danica Says:

Rognadfan,
When you see the obviuos favoritism of one player, when you hear from a former great that the 6 time winner of AO is treated “like s**t”, you know that the sport and all those sportsmen of the year awards are not fair. I know it’s all business, I know life is not fair, but still, somehow this tournament became huge disappointment for many.


Okiegal Says:

@t4t…….You keep posting like always…..I always read your comments and Giles as they are short and to the point! I will say one more thing……I am always amused that the ones who claim Rafa fans hate Fed…..well you can certainly turn that around, most Fed fans hate Rafa. It’s a two way street. Fed fans write hateful stuff against Rafa too….and vice versa. Rafa and Roger are two amazing athletes and brought some of the best tennis we will ever see or hope to see again. So did Novak and Andy. Why don’t we all grow up and act our age and not our IQ! With the lyrics of a Shania Twain hit…….”I’m outta here”


the_mind_reels Says:

So…if Nadal were to win it wouldn’t have been a weak and/or depleted field? I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the delusion people need to be able to sleep at night.

And all the talk of “potion” is so magical and Mary Poppins-esque! I love it.


t4t Says:

Danica @ 9:04 pm
Agree 100%.
But according to the Fedfans, Djokovic asked to be treated badly, he wanted to play on a secondary court and in the blistering heat so he could beat his opponents. Otherwise the poor guy would have lost in the 1st round.
Fed, on the other hand, can play on any court and beat anyone at any time so he chooses to play on RLA and at night so Djokovic gets the opportunity to play on other courts in the daytime. Fed must be applauded for his unselfishness.


t4t Says:

Thanks Okie…


the_mind_reels Says:

@t4t: ESPN announcers were saying that Djokovic had said he wouldn’t mind the daytime slot against Monfils because he figured Monfils would wilt like a delicate flower. Which he did. That match went exactly according to plan as far as Djokovic is concerned, and he got his next match at night, so what’s the crying about?


t4t Says:

So TMR you prefer to believe the ESPN announcers rather than Djokovic himself who said he had not asked for a day time slot? Besides you should use your common sense.


skeezer Says:

Fed haters are a whining bunch. History books are going to list Fed in this final, and if he won or lost. Nobody cares about the frivolous accusations but Joker/Nadal fans cause their Love is out of the tournament. Got beat. Lost, Could.t go further, RETIRED. See ya.


Amit Says:

t4t

Seems you had your magic potion mixed with weed today and all the great stuff is coming out here! 😉

And stop calling fellow posters name, no matter how much you disagree! I told you what I have to, rest is your choice! Do whatever you like! Who cares! And i don’t argue with you either, such is my interest in your posts!😛😜


rognadfan Says:

Did Djokovic say he requested night match but didn’t get it? Or by the time he went to request it was already requested by someone else?

Fed went and requested for a night match. The voices here sould as if Nole would first request night match for Fed instead of himself but Fed didn’t do that, so he is selfish.

Why would a guy who can ask all the tournament officials to get out of the room and call for more prize money to players, could not request the session he wants to play in?


Amit Says:

t4t

It’s my response to you supposing me making a @$$ out of myself! Bye! You dont exist for me here! So bother not!


skeezer Says:

rognadfan
Great point!


rognadfan Says:

skeezer,
It’s understandable that they are sour at this juncture. And many rotten one are coming out with their kitchen sink, like they always do. Sadly these are the ones with 10 fingers on the keyboard 24/7.
But here, for the last year or so even the rational posters (or at least I thought to be so) have resorted to dirty accusations and conspiracy theories of doping, draw rigging and whatnot. At the same time most of them make sure that they show the victim side as well, and threaten to leave TX. That’s the fun part.


the_mind_reels Says:

@t4t: read my comment again. I never said that the announcers were saying he specifically asked for it. But the details are never that important to posters on here who just want to tear down players they dislike.


Tony N Says:

Read this link for Chris Fowler’s five tweets. Also read the crazy responses of Djoker fans (actually it’s probably just one t4t using 20 different names :).
https://twitter.com/cbfowler/status/953766555820552193

Fct: Djokovic’s own coach Andre Agassi revealed that it was actually the super-fit Djokovic who demanded to play during the day.

ESPN match commentator Chris Fowler tweeted that:
(a) Djokovic could have had a night match against Monfils;
(b) but Djokovic declined a night match against Monfils (which Djokovic’s coach Andre Agassi revealed to Fowler); and
(c) the superfit Djokovic asked for the day match to get a fitness advantage against the unfit Monfils in the heat of the day.

Fowler tweeted that he would not have publicized this information if he “didn’t know the deal. Straight from the team.” Since Djokovic’s coach Andre Agassi told Fowler.

Djokovic later denied it — but this would not be the first time that Djokovic has lied. Only a cool-aid drinking sucker believes everything their idol claims. On the other hand, take a look at Chris Fowler’s face during the broadcast tonight (if you’re watching on ESPN)… that’s the face of honesty, trust and credibility.

So the ‘obvious favoritism’ was for Djokovic… in order to help the 30-year old Djokovic exhaust and beat Monfils using the heat of the day. That must be why John McEnroe said: “I actually think the organisation is doing him a favour by treating him like s….”

When Djokovic got the night match he lost in straight sets to a lower ranked player with blistered feet.

Meanwhile, when 36-year old Federer is given a day match, he does not whine like a pussy or turn into a drama queen. Federer quietly beat former Wimbledon boys champion Marton Fucsovics in straight sets. That’s professionalism.

The world still adores Roger Federer — Would we cheer as loudly for another Tiger Woods’ major?
https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/other-sports/moresports/2018/01/27/world-still-adores-roger-federer-cheer-loudly-another-tiger-woods-major


squirrel Says:

It’s sad here that when one player is winning, the fans of other players feel the need to attack the winning player and acting like victims and threathening to never come here again. It’s always like this. Can’t we all just be happy for one another? It’s normal to have arguments, debate etc, that’s what makes this forum interesting. But shouldn’t we do it respectfully without the name calling and just be good sports with one another? That would make a pleasant experience for everyone I think and no hard feelings whatsoever…


squirrel Says:

For Fed fans, I read something interesting somewhere where it says that this AO2018 is the 200th Slam since the Open Era, and if Fed’s wins his 20th Slam, it means he would have won 10% of all the GS titles. That’s nice me think :)


squirrel Says:

*if Fed wins


J.S. Says:

woooohoo!!!!

Djokovic never requested day match…..just saying!


J.S. Says:

Let’s gp Cilic!!!! Funny commentators are saying RF has been blessed with TD for AO…..Point made!


t4t Says:

JS @ 5:09 am. What does TD stand for?

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