Match Preview Cilic vs Federer 16.07 Wimbledon 2017

Wimbledon, London, UK, Grass Courts, ATP

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It’s second Sunday at Wimbledon, it’s men’s Final’s day, and where better to complete our fortnight of Wimbledon match previews than here. Croatia’s world number 6, Marin Cilic and the Swiss maestro and world number 5, Roger Federer are the two gladiators fighting it out to be crowned Wimbledon 2017 Champion. Can Cilic win his second Grand Slam title? Can Federer win his second Grand Slam of the year and an eighth Wimbledon title? The answer to these questions and many many more i’m sure will be answered this afternoon, should be a cracker and I for one can’t wait for it to get started!

Previous Meetings

These two have met seven times, with Federer leading the head to head 6-1. They did actually meet in the Quarter Finals at Wimbledon last year, and it was Cilic who got off to a very fast start, taking the opening two sets. Federer however, like the true champion that he is, fought back and won the next three 6-3 7-6 6-3 to win the match in nearly three and a half hours. Cilic’s sole win against the Federer was in the U.S Open in 2014, where he won in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-4.

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

SF: Defeated Sam Querrey 6-7 6-4 7-6 7-5

Cilic has only dropped three 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 both Gilles Muller and at times against Sam Querrey, CIlic had to dig deep at times, showing that the he has really improved his mental aptitude during times of adversity, something which he has at times in the past struggled with. He will need all of this grit and determination today if he is to stand any chance.

Federer’s Wimbledon Results So Far…

R1: Defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 3-0 ret

R2: Defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-6 6-3 6-2

R3: Defeated Mischa Zverev 7-6 6-4 6-4

R4: Defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2 6-4

QF: Defeated Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2 7-6

SF: Defeated Tomas Berdych 7-6 7-6 6-4

Federer is yet to drop a set, and has been in sublime form throughout. His serve has been imperious, his return of serve consistent and his groundstrokes have been executed with typical finesse and pinpoint accuracy. The other thing i continue to be amazed with about Federer is his movement, which seems to be getting better and better with age, players seemingly have to hit three or four winners in a rally in order to beat him, and just i’m not sure Cilic has the patience or consistency to be able to do that today.

Cilic’s Wimbledon Mean Serving Stats

Won 75% of his service points

Held serve 89% of the time

Cilic has a huge serve, and he will win plenty of cheap points off his first delivery today (85% for the tournament so far). His second serve is likely to be exploited though, so he will need to keep his first serve % very high, currently at 62% for the tournament, i suggest this will need to be much closer to 70% in order for the Croat to be holding comfortably.

Federer’s Wimbledon Mean Serving Stats

Won 78% of his service points

Held serve 95% of the time

Federer has the most accurate serve in the game today, he will pick his spots to within inches of the lines on both sides of the court with devilish consistency. I don’t see CIlic breaking the Swiss’ serve much/if at all today.

Cilic’s Wimbledon Mean Returning Stats

Won 39% of his return points

Won 40% of his break points

Opponents have held 77% of the time against him

Cilic has a solid return of serve, he will look to get balls 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. I just can’t see Federer allowing Cilic to dictate off the return with that forehand though, and i think it might be a long afternoon for the Croat when returning serve. One thing for certain is that if Cilic does get any break point chances it is imperative that he takes them, this means that he will need to increase his break point conversion % drastically from 40% up to 70%+ in my opinion.

Federer’s Wimbledon Mean Returning Stats

Won 38% of his return points

Won 41% of his break points

Opponents have held 78% of the time against him

Federer will mix up his returns, he will at times block the first serve back off both wings, and on other occasions will take a short backswing and re-direct the pace deep towards the baseline. The second serve he will look to attack where possible, again he will favour keeping the ball deep and close to the lines, rather than hit an outright winner off the return. What’s interesting is that Cilic actually has the better returning stats of the two players for the Championship so far, however you have to consider that Fed has played Dimitrov, Raonic and Berdych, all of whom have huge serves on grass. I expect Federer to break the Cilic serve in each set today.

Cilic’s Groundstrokes

Cilic, will hit the ball hard and flat off both wings, and he will look to get his big forehand into play as much as possible. The Croat’s natural game is to attack and look to take the ball on early and keep the points short, something which he will have to do against Federer today in order to stand any chance. I expect Cilic’s movement to be exploited today, as federer whips and spins the ball wide, as well as short and deep not allowing him to settle into any sort of rhythm. Personally i feel like Cilic’s only hope is to just go all guns blazing in every rally and look to be hyper-hyper aggressive.

Federer’s Groundstrokes

Federer is a genius off both wings, he can play any shot in the textbook and plenty that aren’t in it. He will mix up the speed, width, depth and spins off both his forehand and backhand and look to dictate the rallies from inside the baseline. He will also venture into the net quite often, and has fantastic feel on his volleys when there. I expect the Swiss to be able to dictate comfortably against Cilic today, and although he might need to defend at times, there’s no-one better at turning that defence into attack. Federer will favour the longer rallies, as his patience and consistency should allow him to win a huge majority of these.


Fed to win, probably in three or four sets. Federer is quite simply a better tennis player in all aspects of the game; tactically he is more savvy, he will be able to return the Cilic serve with more consistency and his general court craft should be far too much for the Croat today. Cilic’s only hope is that Fed has an off-day, he can get to some tiebreaks and he is hitting a high % of lines with his big forehand.

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