Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Cilic Overpowers Federer to Make US Open Final

There's going to be a new Grand Slam Champion on Monday at the US Open as Marin Cilic crushed Roger in straight sets to book his spot in his first ever Grand Slam Final where he'll play Kei Nishikori who upset Djokovic in 4 sets. This one was a hugely one sided semi with Cilic playing lights out from start to finish to defeat the Swiss 6-3 6-4 6-4. It was a complete schooling and if it was Roger handing this kind of beating out I'd have been loving it, unfortunately the shoe was on the other foot yesterday which made it incredibly difficult to enjoy ๐Ÿ˜†

In my prediction post I had this one down as a Federer victory for sure considering the 5-0 H2H but he just didn't play at his best and more importantly wasn't allowed to by his Croatian opponent. Cilic served bombs when he needed them and his forehand kept Fed on the defensive in every rally of note. I can't really recall a time where Roger was actually in the match, he had a couple of small moments where he almost got his foot in the door but Cilic just kept slamming it shut. It's perhaps the most one sided Grand Slam Semi that Roger has ever lost, which isn't a bad thing, he has played 36 of them after-all, just a bad day at the office for a guy at 33 still competing and working hard to win tournaments.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Struggling on Return vs Cilic

Cilic won the toss and chose to serve and although he dropped the first point of the match he fired down 4 huge serves to hold for 1-0. Fed soon levelled but in game 4 he managed to get broken from 40-0 up. Big moment in the set and it was just a casual service game from Roger who thought he'd done enough at 40-0 and then just went through the motions.

The Swiss did manage to create a break back opportunity but failed to convert as Cilic held for 4-1. Two simple holds later and Cilic took the opener 6-3. Hugely impressive start from him and he hardly missed a single ball all set.

The second set then started in terrible fashion for Roger has he was broken in the opening game, Cilic consolidated with ease and then never looked back. Each shot he played he seemed to build more confidence and Roger looked shell shocked on the baseline as he struggled to make any impression on the return. Cilic took the set 6-4.

Another match where Roger had slipped 2 sets down – could he come back again? Not impossible but the match was now clearly on Cilic's racquet. Things looked promising when Roger broke Cilic for the first time in the match to lead 2-0 but he made the cardinal sin of failing to consolidate. That pretty much spelled the end for him as with the way Cilic was serving it was unlikely he would be able to break him twice in one set.

The set went on serve until 3 games all where Cilic managed to break the Federer serve again before holding to lead 5-3. Roger fired down a love hold to at least make Cilic serve it out but by this point he was like an unstoppable train, hitting 3 aces and a backhand winner to move into the final.

Match Stats

Stats Marin Cilic Roger Federer
Aces 13 12
Double faults 1 1
1st serves in 45/81 (56 %) 51/84 (61 %)
1st serve points won 39/45 (87 %) 36/51 (71 %)
2nd serve points won 20/36 (56 %) 16/33 (48 %)
Fastest serve 132 MPH 128 MPH
Average 1st serve speed 122 MPH 114 MPH
Average 2nd serve speed 91 MPH 96 MPH
Net points won 9/15 (60 %) 11/23 (48 %)
Break points won 4/8 (50 %) 1/2 (50 %)
Receiving points won 32/84 (38 %) 22/81 (27 %)
Winners 43 28
Unforced errors 23 17
Total points won 91 74

Thoughts on the Match

Cilic defeat Federer

Not a fun match to watch if you're a Federer fan that's for sure as he was beaten comprehensively by the better player on the day. Cilic got off to a flyer and from the first game onwards he was never under any pressure. He's known for mentally folding in tough matches but here every game just seemed to give him more confidence to the point where he wasn't ever missing.

Credit to him really, he served huge and 47% of his total points won in the match were outright winners. Just a very clean match and Roger was left at the start gate in this one. That's all you can really say about it; one guy was firing on all cylinders, the other was just trying to make it competitive but not doing a great job of it :).

So could Fed have done anything differently? Hindsight is always 20:20 so it's very easy to say he should have done this or done that differently and I honestly don't know if Cilic was even beatable on the day. The Croat just played at a level of consistency he has never managed before, it surprised me and it clearly surprised Roger too. He looked completely out of ideas by the end of it and when a guy serves that huge it's tricky.

The only real disappointment for me is that Fed was just kinda waiting for Cilic's level to drop rather than make it happen himself and that is my only criticism. He let things get way out of hand way too quickly and the match only lasted a mere 1 hour 45 minutes; in that time I don't think Cilic had to think about a single shot, he was just crushing it on autopilot. Of course on the other hand, it's been a tried and tested method for Federer over the years to just play his base level and wait for the opponent to fade, the problem in this was the gap between the two of them was so big that Cilic's level was never going to drop by that margin without some form of divine intervention or psychology coming into play.

Looking back Roger had to try shake it up on return, stand in a different place, move around, try make that one more ball, get Marin having to actually think about his next shot. Make it more mental than just about sheer groundstroke power. Slow things down too and try break the Cilic rhythm, instead he persisted with flat hitting trying to fight fire with fire and the rapier groundstrokes of Cilic just ate Federer's half baked ones alive.

Was it a one off? I think so to be honest but I guess we'll see what happens when Fed plays Cilic next time – we'll be able to see if the Croat played a one off blinder to win or whether he's found the secret to beating Federer multiple times. I'll edge with the former, he played last nights semi like he was supposed to; like a guy with nothing to lose. Fed was just the unlucky one to be on the receiving end of it.

Looking back at the tournament as a whole it's been a fairly successful one to make his 36th Grand Slam Semi Final and although the result was obviously a surprise it's not a complete shock to see him fall at this stage. If you look at Roger's level over the hard court swing he raised his level round by round in Cincinnati to win it, but here his performances actually decreased round by round. Obviously the level of the opponent went up each round but when he ran into Monfils he wasn't in ideal Quarter Final form. That match took a monumental effort to win in 5 sets by Fed and by the time the semi final came around his level didn't go up when he needed it to.

Next up is the Davis Cup which starts on Friday in Geneva. The Swiss are playing the Italians and they're definitely big favourites to win on an indoor hard court on home soil. Roger's straight back in action in the singles rubbers so hopefully he can put that loss to bed pretty quickly and get back to winning ways. One certainty is that he won't have to worry about Fognini playing as consistently as Cilic as the odds on that are similar to Nadal playing a full season. Slim.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. Hope you meant, Merci Federer ๐Ÿ™‚

      – 13 Tournaments
      – 9 Semi-finals
      – 8 Runner up’s
      – 3 Titles
      – 2nd in the Race to London, by not much
      – Most wins in 2014
      – Most wins vs Top 10 in 2014*
      – Legitimate chance to finish Year End No.1
      – And, he is not done yet…

      I’m disappointed with no slams to show, but very happy and thankful to my favorite player in all sport. I will continue with my rants soon, and it will be ugly. But for now, l’m going to just look back and marvel at the year it was so far.

      *Needs verification

      1. Its 10 semis and 8 finals if I am not mistaken. The two semis he lost at AO and USO were the most disappointing matches this season.
        Overall, its a pretty good season and I’m happy and thankful to Roger too.

      2. no I meant MERCY as in seeking MERCY FROM THE GODERER.
        NOT merci as in berci beaucoup.

        Federer IS GOD, everyone knows!

      1. I don’t think so he is probably finished winning slams. Yeah he is not in complete control and maybe needs some luck every now and then but Come on last 2 slams could have easily been his.

        You just never know with the draws. I even think with a bit of luck he even has chance for Paris let alone Wimbledon.

      2. I’ll have to start agreeing with Jonathan with the “finished winning slams” conclusion. Fed will need a really, really, good draw. Wimbledon was his best shot, and he came agonizingly short. And that’s where he will have his next best shot.

        I cannot see how he can improve his game any more than what it is now. More power? How? Not without changing his playing style. Not with where he positions himself. The keys to success for Roger in the future: Improved down the line backhand, a much bigger second serve, and a lot more risk with cross court backhands. Maybe a topic for discussion in a post.

      3. I can’t agree with you more Sid, these are some elements if Roger succeeded to implement in his game, I can see him do more damage than what he has already done this year. but it requires huge risk taking and I have some doubts he is welling to take it.

        For now on, I guess roger wants just to stay in the game for long period and try to impose his power for more success of the game. He is passionate and love tennis.

        so why don’t you give us some write-up about this, and lets discuss ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. After few hours passed by, What Roger saying in presser makes perfect senseโ€ฆIts so disappointing for us after QF comeback but this is kind of match he never get chance and easy to move on rather dwelling on feeling that he should have won [ only feel could he should have played much better, where as some other matches we clearly felt as he should have Won it]โ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ.It really amazing that Roger can put things in perspective just after that heavy loss where some of us couldnโ€™t digest it yet. We donโ€™t know whether he meant those in presser or telling sake of either case that shows how great athlete he isโ€ฆโ€ฆIts easy he could said something bad in presser but he is such wise person and make sure he is role model as he suppose to beโ€ฆ.Hats Offโ€ฆ.

    We never Sure until its over, so may be 18 or may not be which is not really matter anymoreโ€ฆhe playing outstanding this year and we all hope it continuesโ€ฆin that case good results eventually happenโ€ฆ.

    Cheer up and we all wish his best on Davis cupโ€ฆ
    i was typing same in last back to reading post

    1. Its True Match was over before Fed get hang of it…. Roger is too much of gentlemen to try time delaying tricky for killing Cilic momentum….I also think i firmly believes he can beat by same game (same as Delpo) and refused to play other way……And we do see this some times he get burned by this way against big guys like Delpo, Tsonga and now Cilic…He better make sure this isn’t happen next time……Hard for us and we have to move on…..Hope Roger also does same as he pointed out in presser (not dwelling much on it)…

    1. cilic was just tooooo gooood….. but this was a beautiful chance for fed and maybe his last one for sweet18… nishikori in the final. damm im disapointed

    2. Maybe, but he’s still consistently performing at Slams. See what happens, I always said it’s unlikely he wins another but never say never. Can’t seem to get rid of that unfinished business at USO though!

  2. Came here for a therapy and you did much better job than the few bottles and chocolate overdose.
    Thanks, Jonathan ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Yeah, the result is a bummer, but credit to cilic for playing like that. Very impressive!
    Now let’s move on the indoor swing, I’m liking roger’s chances there!

  4. As always I am proud to be his fan. Super well written Jonathan, it ‘s hard to see him loosing but it’s sport and I am happy because at the age of 33 he reached a grand slam semifinal and he has no injuries. So, I have to say: thanks!

    1. Cilic plays a big game, so I’m rooting for him. Though Nishikori has some bigger wins behind him (raonic, stan, djoker)

      Could bee a decent final if they both play freely. Though if you had told me two weeks ago that one of those two would win I would’ve laughed in your face ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Tickets are changing hands for $2 at least! CBS studio on suicide alert and all flights out of Japan and Croatia full!!! Stadium will be full of journos! Wld like Kei to win as agree with Fed, era earl top 5 material.
        Credit to Cilic , he was in the zone thru out and Goran has improved that serve hugely. Agree with Jonathan. Fed has not improved round by round this tourney and was not “up” enough for this semi. Playing all night matches again didn’t help! And Cilic had played all day games!
        Failed to utilise the knifing slice enough and move Cilic up and down, rather let him play side to side with his huge reach giving him angles and too much space when he came in for easy passes.
        His stats are actually quite good but the winners from Cilic tell the story. He just hammered those shots down.
        Feel less disappointed than if Fed had reached final and then lost.
        More disappointed by not getting to no 2 as the assault on top rank now pretty unrealistic.
        Indoor season will be good, starting with a victory in the Davis Cup which Fed talked about in his presser as a massive objective for him and the team. Can’t wait!
        Not sure what he will do from then as needs to conserve energy for yr end and possible Davis Cup final. Perhaps miss the Asian swing as has few points to defend.
        Next yr will be tougher as he has a lot to defend so he needs to stay healthy and not over play!

      2. [Feel less disappointed than if Fed had reached final and then lost]

        That would’ve been the worst. Losing to the doper from Shimane. Thank goodness it didn’t happen!

      3. I’m not going to bother watching as it’s just not something I can be bothered staying up for. Pick Nishikori to win as I prefer his tennis.

    2. Rooting for Fellow Croat. Now that he has beaten Roger, he better make it count in the final!
      Ajmo Marine ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Disappointed with the semis. Roger didn’t play bad, but he didn’t play that great either, and Cilic (as he himself admitted) played the best match of his life. This was the best chance for Roger to win another slam (no Nadal, no Djokovic, no Murray, no Berdych, no Tsonga…), and he missed it ๐Ÿ™
      He needs to up his game for the rest of the season, because what he showed this summer wasn’t that great. He played much better during the first 3-4 months of the season, which is weird considering new racket and all…

      1. [Because what he showed this summer wasnโ€™t that great]

        Get real man. Toronto final, Sixcinnati, and a SF loss now against a man who looked possessed. What else does he have to do to please you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Honestly the loss doesn’t disappoint me because Cilic was just on fire and Roger was certainly trying his best… it’s a great achievement making his 36th major semi! What concerns me is how this will affect his confidence. He’s been building it up over the last year and losses like these can set you back. Really hoping he can push on and just remember who he is and how well he’s done this season. Go champ!

    1. I don’t think it will be a huge blow to his confidence, he was never in the match. Definitely not like another slam final loss or a match he should have won.

  6. Thanks Fedfan , I was just thinking to myself that if Fed retires, whn he retires , I might need to look for anoda sport ASAP or jst become a fan of reality or series, one of them.
    I think winning Davis cup wil spur Fed to a fantastic 6months in 2015 that wil see GStitles .
    Brace up for the trolls guys, they are gonna come hard after this loss

      1. I wondered about that: what will they do about the Royal Albert Hall if he starts playing? It only seats 5000 ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I wondered about that: what will they do about the Royal Albert Hall if he starts playing? It only seats 5000 ๐Ÿ™‚

        Actually, probably less than that with the arena seats taken out …

  7. Looking at the big picture, I`ve so enjoyed being a Fed fan this year. We`ve seen some beautiful tennis. My pvr is full of great matches.

    Jonathan, great write-up. Cilic played the match of his life. Cilic was robot-like. Nothing seemed to phase him.
    I think what gave him so much confidence was the fact that Nishikori won. Cilic would have thought, I can pull off the upset too. His coach knew how to play Fed as well.

    On to Davis Cup, I think I`m one of the few that enjoys it. It would be awesome to see Fed the victor after all these years.

      1. Yes and yes, I’m in geneva and going to DC. Let’s hope Stan picks his act together and plays better than last DC…

    1. Yeah, I think the Nishikori win certainly didn’t adversely affect Cilic’s confidence ๐Ÿ™‚ “Look, no facing Novak in the final: here’s my chance. If he can do it, I can.”

  8. Really disappointed at the result. The first thing I thought is I hope they check and do a blood and piss test for Maran Cilic who comes back from a 6 months ban to play lights out Tennis. Yeah what a load of bollocks. Once a steroids cheat always a cheat. If he wins I hope Someone mentions it as he doesn’t deserve it. I hope Nishikori wins. Anyway Federer done good for a guy who is supposed to be finished is still playing good and has won 3 tournys and the most match wins this season is simply unbelievable! !!!!

    1. Cilic wasn’t taking steroids, he took a glucose tablet from a different manufacturer which had a substance which can increase your performance. The thing is, the concentration of that substance in his blood was much smaller than the one needed for any kind of effect. So it’s really stupid to blame this loss on doping or whatever.

      Even Roger said he knows Cilic well, and doesn’t believe he did any kind of doping.

      1. Yeah, well, that’s what they all say when they are caught. Just create grounds for deniability. Then the ATP gives them a slap on the wrist ๐Ÿ™‚

        “I believe nobody dopes intentionally” – Aunt Toni

      2. If Cilic was that innocent, then why would he get 6 months ban and fine etc.???? If you easily believe that he accidentally chose the wrong cough syrup then you are a fool for believing there lies that they put out. I never believe the media as they are controlled and distraction s of truth to convince the public that their is no cheating going on. The whole system is curropt to the core bcos the public and sponsor is where they get there money from. So if you want to believe that Cilic is drug free and all of the other players including Federer thats part of this entertainment sport is not fooling the public one way or another then fine??? So I will write it again and you need to ask yourself is Have I been SOLD a lie??? And have I BOUGHT into this lie???

  9. With Cilic playing that way, the only real hope Roger had was to keep serving great also and hope he can get the upper hand/Cilic crumble under pressure in the tie breaks. Nothing anyone can do when Cilic is playing the match of his life and Roger has a bad day serving and returning. I was so confident the Roger will be in the finals since the draw came out as I was expecting Ferrer to come out from that section. When Djoker was beater in the Semis, I could see Roger lifting the cup. What a disaster it turned out to be ๐Ÿ™ Nothing anyone could have done against Cilic yesterday. He was in a zone and it is always bad when that happens. He was getting more and more confident as the match went on. If only Roger could have held after being up 40-0 in the first set, if only he could have kept holding in the third after breaking, if only stupid Ferrer kept his end of the bargain and made the Semis, .., Oh Well. There is always next year.

    1. I thought he had a bad day serving and returning against Monfils? I was hoping that *that* was his “bad” match for the tournament, but obviously one wasn’t enough ๐Ÿ™

      1. Yeah, best of 3 in a Slam???!!! Pathetic. I hope they get reduced points because of it.

        (And best-of-2-and-a-bit for the mixed, for that matter)

  10. @Sid

    I didn’t say Roger’s results this summer were bad. I said his game level wasn’t that high. He played better at the beginning of the season (AO, Dubai, IW) than he did at Toronto, Cincy and USO.

    As far as doping is concerned, I personally don’t think Cilic doped (the amount of the substance was much lower than needed), but even if he did, it has nothing to do with this USO, and why he beat Roger.

    1. Leon, having that great a season at age 33 will take its toll. And we witnessed that.

      About Cilic, you actually believe what they “told” you? Who was it that told you? Come on, this is just a cover up. He was made scapegoat, when many others are doing the same thing. Maybe “they” decided to reward him now.

      Think about what I just said.

      1. Roger is 33 yrs old and is ranked #3. The players in Roger’s age group are either retired, way down the rankings or hurt. Roger has only lost twice before the quarters in all the events he ‘s played in this year.

      1. I think Ru-an said it best in that Roger can’t find the extra edge or gear when it gets to the end stages of the slams.

    1. Yeah just checked the scores. Sucks. Atleast if she lost I would have felt a little better knowing she couldn’t cross 17 as well.

      1. Ghettobitch and Wozniacki are very good friends.

        Henin is classic. Federer like speed, and ATP forehand, getting such speed with a short swing.

  11. Honestly Cilic was in the zone, there is nothing much Roger could. He tried to wait for moment to pounce but no luck. Its difficult to play against a player like that. I am happy Roger manage to go deep and proud that he came back against Monfils. He still have DC this weekend and WTF in Nov. Btw Jon – though DC is not in your radar, will you be opening up chat during his match?

    1. I might do, depends on timing and whether I am around. I don’t usually set time aside to watch DC like I do tour matches ๐Ÿ™‚ Will announce it nearer the time.

  12. You are so right about this not being a fun match to watch if a Fed Fan. I felt like I had swallowed concrete. The match was over in a flash. Thanks for your honest review Jonathan. I am happy for all the wins and the comeback against Monfils, exceptional. I was sure your Breaking News would be about his exit during that one (Phew). Now I will try to move on and not mope anymore. Davis Cup next stop. Hoping for a win for the Swiss Team.

  13. I watched a Cilic/Nishikori match in Australia earlier this year. I don’t recall who won. I didn’t really care. But I do remember both players as wildly erratic, spraying balls into the net and out of court, so much so that I wondered where consistency and tactical sense had gone in modern tennis. Neither bore any real resemblance to the machine-like players we have seen overcome the rest of the field in this USO. Their spectacular recent improvement reminds me of how Novak Djokovic transformed his game within a month at the beginning of 2011. For several years, all of these players had been of a certain style and standard – they appeared to have found their respective levels – and then there is this extraordinary transformation to almost superhuman levels of play. I have learned not to be surprised by anything I see in tennis anymore.

    1. Precisely. One morning he wakes up, looks in the mirror, and goes, “Gluten Morgen!”, and starts winning everything there is to win, including a 7-0 run vs Nadal. When does that ever happen? Now we have Mr. Wasabi, and Chila, who is a known doper.

      On the other side, you have the heavy doper Serena Williams. Does she even have a conscience, stealing titles and money from other deserving women? And going ghetto on line judges, umpires, and players?

      It’s a scripted Reality TV show man ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep telling this, once the great man hangs up his shoes, I’m done with these doping assholes.

      1. “Gluten Morgen”! Lol that’s a good one Sid. For me 2013 Nadal was the final punch. Dude comes from 7-month career threatening knee injury and plays arguably best tennis of his life, sweeping hard court season and US open. Never happened before in ANY sport. Since then no mentioning of his knees or any hindrance in his game. Scary part? Millions believe him.

      2. Oh yeah Gargantouas, that for me is also just crazy, what Nadal did in 2013 is just not natural possible and especially not in a sport like tennis!

        “When one person suffers from delusions you call it sickness, when millions of people suffers from it you call it religion” Richard Dawkins

        Donยดt no why this phrase suddenly came to me, but I think it can be fitted in just fine in this contest ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. Yes Roger wasn’t playing at the highest level, yes conditions were strange and yes we may be spoiled as fans but I know what I saw. Roger [email protected]#%in Federer is a champion an champions know how to win even if they’re not playing well, he tried really hard out there, he changed the game plan, he played chess and nothing worked. Cilic was hitting bombs left and right. MARIN CILIC, returnes came back with a vengance, he got to balls only few guys could get, those came back with a vengance to…

        I know tennis, I love this blog Jonathan, I’m thankful for the great moments this season from Rog and throughout his exquicite areer, but no feel good post will change what I saw. We all know what we saw. We love the sport so much we don’t want to talk about it. Tennis is damaged, watching CBS’s flashbacks celebrating Agassi, aknown and confessed cocaine (heavens know what else) user and now a guy that got suspended for doping is in the final and quite possibly a champ… Only in THIS tennis…. Just like Sid and many others I’m done after the great man is hangs the kicks.

      4. @Sid – gluten morgen lol that is your best contribution for a while, beats all the Nishikori rubbish ๐Ÿ˜†

        @Francis Cheers. I kinda agree with you, follow @tehaspe on Twitter, he’s big on doping in tennis. I think all Sports are probably rife with drugs. Football will be a big one as it such big money. There don’t seem to be many intent on clearing it up, Athletics seem to do an ok job but I’m not sure as I don’t follow it closely enough. I’m sure Bolt could get away with anything.

        Maybe take Mayweather’s approach and get athletes to take a blood test with the results public immediately.

      5. Gargantouas, I’m still convinced that Nadal had both knees replaced while he was out for those 7 months ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. I remember that Nishikori/Cilic match in AO, nothing impressive. Nishikori an agile counter hitter with a forehand of gold an a above average BH down the line. I could and maybe should give him the benefit of the doubt cause his young and full of potential but the manner in which he got here is just suspect too. Cilic WAS your typical lanky pro with a respectable serve but pretty much nothing else. Now he’s the latest late blooming miracle. Djokovic’s 180 used to smell funny but we accepted it then because if it wasn’t for it Dopal could easily be at 20 plus slams and we accept it now because media coverage and level “consistency”‘s made us grow used to it.

      It’s blatant cheating, the past level of this players can be easily accessed through youtube, this transformations are there to study and be analyzed. I honestly cannot recall Cilic’s power and consistency, not this kind.

      Thats pretty much the story so far and it will only get worse if you ask me, too much to gain (millions, fame, prestige) and to little to lose (4 month silent bans, minuscule fines). The death of a sport…

      1. Tennis fans will just have to accept it, or in my case, stop following the sport once Federer retires. It just hurts to know that Roger could’ve won so much more if not for these cheats, particularly Rafael Nadal, the biggest doper in the history of tennis.

  14. Can always count on your post Jonathan to put things in perspective. Not really sure how to feel though I gotta say. I think with much reflection it’s safe to say that Cilic was in God mode, Roger wasn’t flat nor was he making too many UE errors. The telling stat is that Cilic basically won half of his point from winners, kind of unbelievable really. Nishikori winning solidified Cilic’s belief and he was on a mission out there. Fed couldn’t be clutch enough in the key moments, Cilic stepped up to the plate and Roger was counting on waiting for him to doubt himself and for his level to ultimately drop. Match right there. Interesting point that Fed never played his best level at all this tournament. He played guys like Monfils and Cilic in the masters which is supposed to give him an advantage when it comes to the big one but it didn’t seem to really help at all. That’s what tennis is all about, such fine margins and all you have to do is turn up on the right day.

    After these types of matches happen you kind of ponder if it was worth having real hope imagining that it would be Fed lifting up the trophy tomorrow. After rebuilding up his game, making adjustments in the racquet, getting healthy again, winning tournaments, we all just really want that 18th slam. None more than Roger but fans want to know that their time and energy and hope is rewarded. After Djoker getting out, I thought it was now or never to get it so when Marin hit that last shot, my heart broke into a million pieces all over again after Wimbledon. Roger once again so close to this fairytale happening and the happy ever after wasn’t going to culminate. But if it’s a slam your here for you really have to evaluate if you are watching Fed for the right reasons right?

    Until the last day, I really believed Roger would win another slam after this year but I think it’s time to accept that 17 might never turn into 18. And that’s OK. I may never actually accept this to be honest because I truly believe Roger deserves another slam after everything. Whilst watching these chances slip away over and over again, frustration is an understatement but it’s never been as exciting or emotional I must say watching Roger Federer continue to fight. Continue to still play the game with passion. Continue to add to his legacy. Federer may not have every match on his racquet today but there will never be no words to describe the experience of watching him in loss and defeat, it’s all still worth it.

    Roger’s presser was just what I needed to read and he said he’s gonna keep trying for that slam. And that’s really all that matters, that he give it his best shot. Could Fed have made adjustments or turned that Cilic match around? Probably, but who really cares now, lets all just reflect on the season so far-That Monfils match especially proves his love for the game, can’t ask any more than that. Looking forward to seeing how the Maestro can conclude this season and if he can challenge Novak for the year end #1, all the best for Davis Cup and THANKYOU Jonathan, you articulate all our feelings and thoughts and nail it every time.

    1. Nice comment Alysha.

      Like Fed said winning Slam 18 isn’t going to improve his quality of life but it would still be nice. Same for fans I reckon, will be happiness for a week then they want #19 ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’m not only watching in the hope he wins slam, he’s just the best player to watch due to how effortless he makes it look. Tennis at its best.

      1. For Jonathan. .. I really likewwhat you have said in this comment. I know whatyou mean Iif FedFederer did win no. 18 then the fans wiwill be shoshouting for no. 19. Although 18th slam would be nice. Your last paragraph sums up it best. Really well put Federer tennis is simply sublime! !!

    2. I hoped, but really I doubted, I think: there was just too much hype pre-tournament for me to think he would make it through, somehow. I think he tends to get through draws better when expectation is not so high – “oh, is he still there?” – that sort of thing. And I certainly don’t think that announcing that someone (anyone) has a cakewalk for a draw really helps.

      1. I think Roger is experienced enough on how to handle pressure/expectation when it comes to the media. Don’t really believe that had a massive influence on the outcome of this match. As Fed once said “you guys debate the draw and I play them.” Us fans also should know by now that draws only mean something on paper. He was playing and moving well since Wimbledon so I don’t blame so many of us getting our hopes up, it just sucks that he’s come so close again and couldn’t step up when it mattered.

      2. No, I didn’t mean that Roger got floored by all the expectation, just that it was ludicrous to talk him up as much as they did. Sure, he had a chance, but out-and-out favourite to win?!

  15. @Jonathan

    Unfortunately, or fortunately I should say, I live almost 400 miles from Dubrovnik. I’ve been there last summer though, and it is pretty nice and all, BUT quite expensive :p . (200% more expensive than the rest of Croatia)

    I think you, and everyone should come and see it, but be prepared to empty your wallets ๐Ÿ˜€ (and help our crappy economy a bit lol ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  16. Wow, 30 minutes in and Cilic already has the first set under his belt? Is he carrying on where he left off against Roger, or is Kei not playing that well?

  17. “The only real disappointment for me is that Fed was just kinda waiting for Cilicโ€™s level to drop rather than make it happen himself and that is my only criticism. He let things get way out of hand way too quickly and the match only lasted a mere 1 hour 45 minutes”

    Yes, and it’s not the first time he’s done that – and suffered as a result, is it? By all means hope the other guy’s going to run out of gas, but at least give yourself a chance by trying to keep level with him rather than letting yourself drop behind.

    Ironic that winners clearly exceeded UEs again – yet he still lost. Very disappointing that he couldn’t increase his level ๐Ÿ™ Watching the scores, I actually got the feeling that it was the Olympic final all over again.

    I think my problem is that I love watching Roger’s game so much that I wouldn’t mind (so much) if he played really well and still lost, but it’s when he’s sub-par that it’s not so good.

    1. Alison, I’ve got the exactly same feeling, having watched highlights of the match. It was not as if Roger did not have any energy left. He was kind of ‘strangely waiting’. No doubt, Cilic played well but I thought that Roger should have hanged on to the early lead in the 3rd set. ๐Ÿ™ .

  18. Well, that was Cilinical! Nishikori gets a taste of his own Wasabi.

    Dope, or no dope, this guy is clutch when serving. The look on Chang’s face, “Why you no play like I tell you?”. Thank you Chump, please don’t come again.

  19. Sorry to say, I think the only man to beat this Monster Cilic was Rafa. This guy played unbelievable. I still think there may be a little of a chance if Roger was able to consolidate the break in the 3th set.

      1. USA Today reported that the ITFโ€™s anti-doping budget is about $1.6 million. From 2008-2011, the ITF conducted roughly 2,000 drug tests annually, both in and out of competition. In 2011, there were only 21 were out-of-competition blood tests.

        Ouch! Just 21 OOC tests in 2011. It wasn’t really about the gluten then, was it? I’d like to see the numbers for 2010, and 2013.

  20. Cilic was once again on the spot with big BIG serves and big shots from both wings! Can anyone tell me if none of the “big four” has ever won a slam with dropping lesser games in the quater-semi and final like Cilic did?

  21. Just thinking, does anyone else think if Wawrinka didn’t win the AO, Cilic or Nishikori wouldn’t have made the finals…

    1. I’m sure Stan’s win was certainly a catalyst, if not the only reason for this US Open shocker. These guys have figured out what works, what doesn’t. Now, there will more seditious talk in the locker room.

      An uprising looms. A coup. The rise of the machines. This is the end of the Big 4…Big 3 aristocracy as we know we.


      1. You’re scaring me, Sid. A coup?
        Really sickens me that such a small amount of money is spent on doping compared to the prize money at the top (which is ridiculous).

      2. I was being a bit dramatic. It would be good to some new players win more slams. Eric Butorac, a doubles player, is the new ATP Player Council President. Hopefully, that should create an environment much more conducive to lower ranked players. Federer did an amazing job too, but he has always had to play a balancing act, and perhaps be a bit biased toward the authorities. This new guy should shake things up a bit.

        The sport is never going to be clean of dopers. It’s going to be accepted as a part of the sport.

    2. Hey Alysha, personally I will always be thankful to Stan for stopping Rafa winning AO 2014. Hope Stan does win atleast 1 GS (when Roger is not in the final ofcourse).
      And also hope he doesn’t ruin Davis Cup for Roger like he almost did the last the last time….

      1. That’s wasn’t very smart of Stan, if you asked me. Aunt Toni and her nephew are now hunting him down till Kingdom come. And that brat, Kyrgios too. They will not rest unless a lot of blood is spilled.

        Watch out for tournaments, particularly AO 2015, matching them up again.

  22. You guys are going to enjoy this ๐Ÿ™‚

    Marin Cilic top 10 thoughts during the championship match

    10. “If I leave now, I can beat the traffic.”

    9. “How can I concentrate when William and Kate are having a second baby?”

    8. “Why doesn’t it go 15, 30, 45 ?”

    7. “Shouldn’t have had nachos for lunch.”

    6. “Is it ‘Grunt, then hit’, or “Hit, then grunt’?”

    5. “I owe it all to Apple’s new iRacket”

    4. “If I win this, do I have to play Serena?”

    3. “When it gets quiet, I can hear the Mets being booed.”

    2. “Smoke break.”

    And …. No. 1 …

    1. “Only 16 more titles to catch Federer.”

    *Courtesy It was aired originally on David Letterman, and the reason I didn’t post the video is because he talks about Bithliams for a minutes, and I fucking hate Bithliams.

    1. Yeah Leon, I noticed it last year. I remember reading a Croatian article when Cilic tested positive. I translated the article using Google translate and it came out as “Roger Federer tests positive” ๐Ÿ˜†

      1. Hahahahaha! That was funny. I thought it must’ve been a fake page or something. Google does this from time to town.

      2. There’s something I noticed. If Cilic tweaks his accent a little bit, he will actually sound like Roger Federer. Listen closely to how to talks.

    2. It’s not doing it now, so I guess someone’s corrected it. Trouble is, Google Translate, being nothing more than a stupid computer program, doesn’t *know* anything, so if someone tells it that RF=MC it’ll take it as gospel and translate it that way all the time for that language pair.

      Have you ever wondered why it can produce a perfectly idiomatic sentence one minute, only to follow that with some garbage for the next sentence? It takes loads of sentence pairs, some computer-generated and some translated by humans (and occasionally sometimes even by humans who are *good* at translating!) and sticks them in a ginormous database and retrieves them as required. So your beautifully idiomatic rendering may have been sweated over for half-an-hour by a professional translator, but the other sentence has been cobbled together from loads of bits of junk that are in the database, and the words it doesn’t know, it just leaves in the original language. And if it comes across a string like “Marin Cilic” and doesn’t recognise that that’s someone’s name (and why should it, it’s only a program), then if someone tells it that “Marin Cilic” translates as “Roger Federer”, then that’s what it’ll put. Clearly its example-based machine translation programs still need a lot of work …

      1. “Trouble is, Google Translate, being nothing more than a stupid computer program”.Seriously ?? Do you know how much effort goes into coding something like Google Translate ? Let me answer that for you , you don’t. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are branches of computer science which aim to give computer programs a “brain”. That is, it wants the program to learn to translate just like how a human would. The underlying math in these fields are super complex and something like Google translate would be using the state of the art in terms of both machine learning algorithms and how much training data can be there. Marrin Cilic translated to Roger Federer because some stupid dumbo went there and manually translated it like that. The program obviously can’t figure that out. The fact that someone is dumb enough to put a name of a person in Google Translate and expect it to give a sensible result talks about how stupid guys who do it are and not the program itself.

      2. Relax Ajay. Google Translate has its uses, but it’s only as smart as the people who program it.

        Alison, didn’t you say you work in this field? I think this is Translator vs Coder ๐Ÿ˜† It’s like Uber vs London taxi drivers, no quarter given!

        Google Translate is useful, but it’s not without flaws. Think that’s best way of it describing it. Smart stuff but if you’re looking for verbatim translation from one language to another it’s not ideal.

        It never produced the goods when I was blagging French homework 10 minutes before a lesson that’s for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. It wasn’t because he broke decorum: the rules, I think, require the chest bib to be visible at all times when the athlete is competing. His wasn’t, because he’d scrunched it up into a ball and was waving it around. But I was pretty disgusted by the Spanish protest: if I remember correctly, their runner was well off the pace and didn’t merit a medal.

    1. I’d have just let it stand. He was miles ahead. You’d have to be a clown to protest that. Although maybe Djoker should be deducted some slams for ripping his top off ๐Ÿ˜†

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