1) Knows what it takes to beat Roger Federer at a major
Some see Marin Cilic as a major underdog in this match as we watch Roger Federertry to improve his record grand slam title haul of 19 title triumphs, but there is plenty of reason to believe that the 2014 US Open champion can realistically get the better of the Swiss over a five set match. The biggest of reasons is that Cilic knows how to beat Federer in this format, on a hard court, at the crucial and nervy moments at slams, where tension is at its maximum.
More often than not, Federer has managed to get the better of Cilic, but there aren’t many players that can say they have scored a win against Federer in a Grand Slam semi-final. Cilic can, after beating him comprehensively in a US Open semi-final on his way to his first and only grand slam to date.
2) Can use the experience of winning a major title
The second important reason as to why Cilic can get the win is because he knows what it takes to win majors. It is as simple as that. The confidence in knowing how to win seven matches over best of five format is absolutely paramount to the likelihood of doing it again and again. Prime examples of that is the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray, who have elevated themselves to even greater players because of the multiple slam titles they won in a short space of time. Cilic has done it before and there is no reason why he cannot upset the apple cart and get a second slam win.
3) Has hard court pedigree
Thirdly, Cilic is one of the best players on a hard court and the reason behind his success on this surface is because of the devastating effect his game has on his opponents. He moves very well for a big guy with a big presence on court, but he can blast through any opponent with his serve and forehand combination from the baseline. In the US Open 2014 semi-final against Federer, he gave him absolutely no time and silenced the crowd with faultless, power tennis and he has to do more of the same in Sunday’s final. Federer will try to get Cilic forward on his terms with the backhand slice, but Cilic has to ensure that he is the one that controls the outcome of the rallies and that he strikes first when the rally plays out.
4) Playing fantastic tennis and is now at a career high ranking
Cilic is constantly putting himself in the Grand Slam conversation now. He is feeling very confident and he will always have a chance to do very well on these fast surfaces, whether it is at the two hard court majors or at Wimbledon. With some of the top players out of the picture, Cilic is really making the most of the window of opportunity and now sits at a career high ranking and could go even higher this season.
5) Cilic will want revenge for the way Wimbledon ended sourly for him
The players will not say it that much, but payback is sweet in professional sport. When you look at the two weeks that Cilic had at Wimbledon last year, where he made the final, he felt that that was the best tennis he was playing in his career. Even better than when he actually won a major, so he was absolutely devastated with the way his fortnight ended through injury. He will want to pounce at this opportunity, and what better way to do it than against Federer in another grand slam final.
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