Match Preview Querrey vs Cilic 14.07 Wimbledon 2017
Wimbledon, London, UK, Grass Courts, ATP
It’s second Friday at Wimbledon, which means one thing and one thing only…men’s Semi Final’s day. It would be great to be previewing a match featuring British interest, however after Murray’s defeat on Wednesday we are instead going to be turning our attentions to the match between the big-servers, American world number 28, Sam Querrey and Croatia’s world number 6, Marin Cilic.
These two have met four times, with Cilic winning all four, including three on grass. Two of those wins have also come at Wimbledon, with both going the distance. Firstly in 2009, with Cilic winning 6-4 in the fifth and then again in 2012 with Cilic winning 17-15 in the fifth.
Sam Querrey’s Wimbledon Results So Far…
R1: Defeated Thomas Fabbiano 7-6 7-5 6-2
R2: Defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-3
R3: Defeated Jo Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 3-6 7-6 1-6 7-5
R4: Defeated Kevin Anderson 5-7 7-6 6-3 6-7 6-3
QF: Defeated Andy Murray 3-6 6-4 6-7 6-1 6-1
Querrey can be forgiven for feeling a little jaded, after his last three matches have all gone to five sets. What’s been most impressive is the American’s steely determination and ability to remain calm during these matches, he seems to have a total belief in his game right now and if he can bring that to the court today, he gives himself a shot, in what is likely to be another long encounter.
Marin Cilic’s Wimbledon Results So Far…
R1: Defeated Phiillip Kohlschrieber 6-4 6-2 6-3
R2: Defeated Florian Mayer 7-6 6-4 7-5
R3: Defeated Steve Johnson 6-4 7-6 6-4
R4: Defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-2 6-2 6-2
QF: Defeated Gilles Muller 3-6 7-6 7-5 5-7 6-1
Cilic has only dropped two sets so far, and has been playing superbly. In his opening four matches he didn’t drop a single set, and blew all of his opponents away with his massive serve and groundstrokes. Against Gilles Muller he had to dig deep at times, showing that the Croat has really improved his mental aptitude during times of adversity, something which he has at times in the past struggled with.
Sam Querrey’s Wimbledon Mean Serving Stats
Won 74% of his service points
Held serve 91% of the time
Querrey’s biggest weapon is his serve, he will hit the ball hard and flat and certainly win plenty of free points off his first delivery today. He’s averaging 1.20 aces per game, so expect to see a good few of these too.
Marin Cilic’s Wimbledon Mean Serving Stats
Won 73% of his service points
Held serve 89% of the time
Cilic, like Querrey has a huge serve, he will win a large % of points off his first delivery today (85% for the tournament so far) and will hit the ball with slightly more spin, allowing marginally better accuracy. The Croat is averaging 1.25 aces per game, so he should just shade the ace-race today.
Sam Querrey’s Wimbledon Mean Returning Stats
Won 33% of his return points
Won 52% of his break points
Opponents have held 82% of the time against him
Querrey will certainly struggle to return the Cilic serve today, he will have to try and block more balls back into play in order to stand any chance off the first serve. On the second serve he can look to be more aggressive, and certainly against Murray in the Quarter Final, we saw the American really go after the the second delivery off both his forehand and backhand sides.
Marin Cilic’s Wimbledon Mean Returning Stats
Won 40% of his return points
Won 44% of his break points
Opponents have held 75% of the time against him
Cilic has a better return of serve than Querrey, he will get more balls back into play off the first serve and will also look to attack the second serve with aggression, especially if he can get his forehand into play. Don’t expect the Croat to break often, but he certainly stands the better chance of the two players based on the stats.
Sam Querrey’s Groundstrokes
Querrey likes to hit the ball hard and flat off both wings, with his forehand being the more secure and where a majority of his winners will come from. The American does at times struggle with consistency though and if you can keep the ball deep and in the corners he can struggle to time the ball on the grass. That being said if you leave the ball short against Querrey expect him to hit big forehands and follow them into the net. He has improved his movement considerably, and although not one of the best athletes or defenders on Tour, he has shown already this fortnight that he can turn defence into attack better than most people thought.
Marin Cilic’s Groundstrokes
Cilic, like Querrey will hit the ball hard and flat off both wings, he will look to get his big forehand into play as much as possible, and will look to dictate points from the back of the court. Also like Querrey, Cilic is much more comfortable attacking rather than defending, I do favour the Croat in the longer rallies however his natural game is to look to take the ball on early and keep the points short.
In a match that i’m fully expecting to be serve-dominant, i give Cilic the edge for a number of reasons; he has far greater experience at this stage of a Grand Slam (this is Querrey’s first Grand Slam Semi Final), he has the mental edge on the head to head record, he is more consistent off the ground and he has the better return of serve. Querrey isn’t without a shot, and if he can get as many of the sets to tiebreaks as possible then he gives himself a chance. I’d be surprised if this is over in three sets, but expect Cilic to come through.
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