Grand SlamsRoger FedererWimbledon

Federer Cruises Past Johnson to Make Wimbledon Quarter Finals

Roger Federer made serene progress into the Wimbledon Quarter Finals by crushing Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour 37 minutes. This was expected to be Roger's toughest test of the tournament so far but he made light work of the Aegon Open Nottingham Champion using his superior all round game to come through for the loss of just 10 games.

The Swiss will now face off against Marin Clic on Wednesday and will hope to reverse the result of their last meeting at the US Open in 2014 where Cilic went on to win the title.

Quick Match Recap

Federer Steve Johnson Wimbledon

Federer won the toss and elected to serve. The Swiss promptly held to 15 before Johnson levelled to 30. Both players then traded holds but at 2-2 it was Johnson who had the first break points of the set thanks to a couple of Federer shanks. Roger saved both of them and then broke himself to lead 4-2. The break was consolidated to 30 and the Swiss broke again with some crisp hitting to take the opener 6-2.

A love hold allowed Roger to ease into the second set and at 2-1 he was able to again break the American's serve. The break was consolidated to love for 4-1 and Johnson didn't get another look in on the return as Roger served it out to 30 to take it 6-3.

With 2 sets in the bag it looked at though the World Number 29's stay on Centre Court would be short lived. However Roger took his foot off the gas early in set 3 as he dropped serve tamely to fall 3-1 behind. Fortunately Johnson couldn't consolidate making some cheap errors to hand it straight back. At 3-3 Federer had 2 chances to break but Johnson found a way out of the game to hold. In game 11 though Roger got the key breakthrough, breaking to 15 and then serving it out to 15 with a 2nd serve ace on match point.

Match Stats

ACES 6 8
FIRST SERVE % IN 55/83 (66%) 65/101 (64%)
WIN % ON 1ST SERVE 41/55 (75%) 40/65 (62%)
WIN % ON 2ND SERVE 20/28 (71%) 15/36 (42%)
NET POINTS WON 33/40 (83%) 15/26 (58%)
BREAK POINTS WON 5/10 (50%) 1/4 (25%)
RECEIVING POINTS WON 46/101 (46%) 22/83 (27%)
DISTANCE COVERED (M) 1648.3 1667.8
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer 4th Round Wimbledon 2016

Really good performance here from Roger who makes it into the Quarter Finals with ease. I was expecting a tough test from Johnson who was in form, and in some ways it was, but Fed was just too good. Johnson's serve and forehand are a good combination but his slice backhand didn't hold up against Roger who exploited it at will.

It was an even match up until Fed had to save the break points in game 5 but once he did he moved up a gear and Johnson didn't really have any answers. Fed was the one moving forward, forcing the issue and getting enough returns in play to cause Johnson trouble on serve. I don't think Roger had his best serving day but on the big points he found the right plays and aside from dropping serve in the third set with a lapse in concentration he was never really in too much trouble. Too much game for Stevie J who heads into the US hard court swing with plenty confidence after winning his first career title in Nottingham.

With the win Fed is now into the Quarters without dropping a set and he looks to be getting sharper with each round. He's pretty much exceeded my expectations with how he's played so far but I'm not going to get carried away just yet. Still plenty to do to make the last 4 and it's only going to get more difficult from here on in.

Predictions vs. Cilic

Next up is Cilic who defeated the injury riddled Nishikori after he retired mid way through the second set. Cilic has had a good Wimbledon so far dropping just the one set to Stakhovsky. The Croats game translates well to grass and this is his third straight Quarter Final appearance.

Like Roger said in his post match interview, Cilic blew him off the court at the US Open like he wasn't even there so he's going to be a very dangerous opponent on Wednesday. The H2H massively favours Federer but on the grass so far in 2016 the guys Roger has struggled with have all ones with big serves and ground games. I think the match is still very much on Federer's racquet but it will really boil down to how well he moves. If he's not bang on the money then Cilic is going to boss too many rallies, take away his time and just overpower him. If Roger can get there early he can do way more with the ball and extend the points where he needs to. Obviously he'll need to return well too.

If Cilic plays like he did at the US Open and Roger is off his game, then Cilic wins. But if Fed is on the money I back him to get it done in 3 or 4 sets.

What do you guys reckon? Let me know in the comments.


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. I watched the first two sets and Roger was moving well enough to handle anything Steve was throwing at him. Good news it was a fast match so he could rest (Cilic played less than an hour), he will need every bit of energy to make a run for the title. Lets hope for the best!!!


    1. Good Win for Roger..glad he made it short work… Definitely Marin match going to more challenging…I agree on your thoughts, if Roger feels good on court then he should get it done in tough 3/4 sets. Hope he makes it…

      On separate match David should have closed Milos match, but bows out.. Considering no.of serves returned by him, he should have won this match though Milos upped his ante for last three sets… Disappointed result for David..

      Close but no cigar on comment war ?

    2. Yeah Goffin faded, once Raonic won the third you could tell he would win as Goffin ran out of gas. No way to get cheap points to shift momentum. Always feel when he goes to 0-15 it’s a struggle to hold.

  1. Yep, Cilic is indeed a very dangerous opponent. Roger has to be on his game and forget any potential matches down the road. He needs to be clutch on key points, like break point opportunities. If Roger manages to cut down on his UEs and also contains Cilic’s powerful groundstrokes, then he will win. But like Jonathan said, if Cilic plays like USO 2014, then it will be very tough to beat him.

    As for today’s match, I thought Roger played a good match but could still improve his backhand as there were several easy misses if I recall correctly. Let’s hope our man can really excel for the rest of the tournament. Only 3 matches to go!

  2. I suppose I am happy for Federer making the quarters. A little upset that Raonic found a way to come back from 2 sets down but whatever. I think that if Roger is able to beat Cilic on Wednesday, he should be able to beat Raonic as well on Friday.

    On the other side, the draw is pretty tough. Murray is making short work of Kyrgios but the Aussie is deconstructing himself so not too much to read from that match. Murray will have to play Tsonga next who will be a bit more rested after Gasquet retired in their match.

    Berdych is also lurking in that section so we’ll see.

    As of now, Murray looks good but if Roger makes the final, we’ll see.

  3. I am going to be “that guy” and predict Cilic in 4/5 sets ala Tsonga 2011 or Berdych 2010. Djokovic losing early HAS to weigh heavily on Roger’s mind

  4. The first two sets were like a breeze
    Fed put Johnson into a deep- freeze
    In the 3rd Steve was definitely better
    But Fed managed to keep it a 3-setter

    Cilic is a far cry from the US Open form these days, but of course he is not going to get over-awed by playing on Centre Court like Steve Johnson who took two sets to settle down. By then it was too late.

    But definitely going to be a serious test for Fed. I think Fed will prevail in 4 if not straights.

  5. I think Federer’s real battle begins when he plays Cilic. Cilic and Raonic IMO will be harder to play than against Murray. These guys play real big and with their extensive reach is a real threat to Roger. They all have beaten Roger and can beat him again this time. Roger must intersperse baseline rallies with short slice balls to throw them off their rhythm. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. Murray is looking really scary right now. Roger will have a really hard time with him if he plays like this.

    But then again Kyrgios is such a clown so never mind. I mean Murray is playing really well but Kyrgios looks so average. Anyway. The fact that Raonic won today really ticked me off. No easy path to the final now. Roger has to still beat Cilic so we’ll see. Try to stay in the moment I guess.

    1. Kyrgios is generally a good match up for Murray, he relies on using his big serve to take over the point and Murray gets too many returns in for him to take over the point. Kyrgios then has to use his groundstrokes to win the point quickly and Murray is good at digging them back so Kyrgios either hits screamers or checks out of the points. And this inconsistency means across 5 sets he’s going to lose a lot of points which he can get away with against lower players but not against the likes of Murray. We basically end with what we saw here, where he gives up on points too early and loses them too easily.

      On the other hand Murray is a good match up for Fed because Fed can take Murray’s big return away and then move Murray all the way around the court and not allow him to settle in on the baseline. Essentially unlike Kyrgios Fed can construct points well which in turn keeps Murray on the backfoot. Even if Murray does play as well as he is in the final, if Fed reaches it I’d still fancy Fed to win.

  7. I think Querrey will beat Raonic

    Murray will have his hands full with Tsonga. Kyrgios is hardly challenging Murray, so its a done deal for Andy.

    Pouile vs Vesely / Berdych – nobody knows

    If Fed beats Cilic & Querrey beats Raonic, then Fed will be in the final. Fed handled Querrey very well last Wimbledon

  8. The Us open 2014 was a different story. I believe Federer is well rested and has plenty in the tank plus its grass.
    I dont think Cilic and Raonic is mountain to climb for Roger. It is a big ask but not that big to be honest. Roger is playing very well and on the brighter side he s only improving with more matches. I am so happy Roger used that bit of compliment for Cilic on their last encounter, “he is very well aware of the danger that Cilic brings in and he will be up for it”. And the fact that he so badly wanted to break Johnson back tells you how seriously he means to go all the way in the tournament( the intent that matters) I am expecting Federer to raise the level in the quarters , whether he s ready for Andy in the finals or not is still far away from us. I am very optimistic for the quarters. Federer is playing this tournament very smartly and his movement looks far far bettef than what it was 2-3 weeks ago. Murray is still the favourite though – lets give him that.
    Federer in 3 sets against Cilic.

  9. Its a tough one to call really, Fed has to give it all in Cilic match because I think even if Raonic beats Quarry or Quarry beats Raonic, it will be 4 or 5 settter so they will be tired for semi no matter who gets through.

    So Roger has to get past Cilic who really is dangerous with his big serve. He has to get it done in straight sets and has to with the first two if he is to lose a set. The longer the match goes, more danger will be there from Cilic.

    Fed will need to move him around and tire him, mix it up quite a lot with slices, tall guys don’t like to bed down or run for dropshots.

    Raonic can be a problem but he will certainly be tired so I am not too worried abt semi and too early to call for Final.

    I also felt that Steve J will pose big threat but he was just nerverous from being on Centre, too many UEs, you can tell.

    I just hope Cilic has off day or even just retires (I don’t care), Fed needs to come through in 3.

  10. The question is: did Cilic ever played another game like the USO SF 2014? I don’t remember.

  11. Roget looked wonderful today.
    Cilic can catch fire anytime and for me he has the upper end going into the match.
    Cilic’s level needs to drop off considerably for roger to beat him.We need a bit of luck if couple of tie breaks are played.I worry about Roger’s return game but he did have some good return games against Johnson.
    I am afraid of this match up .I hope Roger scrapes through .
    It is frustrating to see Raonic winning after being 2 sets down.Rogers path now is surely difficult.
    Sorry guys,being pessimistic bit Cilic scares me!

    1. I haven’t seen Cilic play like he did vs RF in that 2014 US-open. And he got an injured shoulder afterwards, possibly he overdid it. So he’s for sure Roger’s biggest challenge so far, but no reason to be overpessi!

      1. Delpo never played as well as he did at the USO 2009. His wrist has never been the same. Now comes Cilic,same thing, his shoulder was injured for ages.
        Anything to beat the Goat.

      2. Cilic is a threat, but who cares? Fed in the Quarters after so long out is impressive. Maybe he can go one better.

    2. I don’t think Cilic’s level has been that high so far. Fed’s the clear favourite imo for good reason. It’s a worrying match but it’s the kind of match Fed needs anyway if he is to win here.

      1. Only 1 set dropped, I think he’s been decent If Fed can extend the points, he wins. Murray did it well at Queens.

  12. I think this Cilic match will be super important. If he can get through that I fancy him to make the final because I don’t think Raonic is better, but it is a banana skin for sure.

    In any case, Fed looked much better. Just compare even round 1 to this and he’s like a different player. If he can just raise his level enough this could be pretty special.

  13. Edberg in the box and Ljub knowing Cilic and Goran better maybe adds something new to the equation but it’s rough and Fed says” I am not the confident player of ten years ago ” to Swiss press but seems a bit high tonight post match. He has great tennis still in him but seeing Richie go off with a back issue and Fed peak early other years and this stated openly desire for one more it could be so easy to overplay drop serve , shank and hit into the net – we’ve all seen it. Vesely seems to be fighting Tomas and Querrey is emboldened.
    Fed has to play point by point and fight, fight, fight in his most elegant and point perfect way as there are quite a few out there who are also believing they have a good shot. Pray for them to be involved in massive 5 setters .
    C’mon Fed.

      1. Hopefully Stefan promised “get to the second week Roger and I will be with you all the way”. .Edberg’s presence in his box is a good move reminding Roger of both their places in Grass Court history…..both superior to Goran and Cilic. Classy way to look and feel solid and beef up Ljubi Fed over the the super teams of Raonic and Murray if and when too.

  14. Into the Wimbledon QFs without a set dropped! That’s not the result most of us were expecting after his injury woes, but I’ll gladly take it.

    By far the best match he’s played this tournament; Johnson was no slouch and Federer did well to get the lead and stay dominant on serve. He moved really well and played aggressive return games in the third set to break back and then get the final break. Crucially, he avoided a fourth set.

    There’s a tall task ahead of him–6’6”, to be exact. (That’s a little over 1.98 meters for those who use the metric system). Cilic is playing great tennis, plus he’s got plenty of energy thanks to the forty-minute practice session that Nishikori gave him.

    On grass, Federer has the edge, though–his serve has more sting and he can be more aggressive and use his touch shots more (especially the slice to slow points down), and he moves a bit better. Cilic plays very well on grass but he’s still a baseliner and on grass Federer can play more short-point, first-strike tennis and break up Cilic’s baseline rhythm. In 2014 I feel Federer was too fatigued to execute his tactics, he ended up feeding Cilic exactly the kinds of balls he loved to hit, and Cilic was just able to get into a rhythm and start blasting. This time, Federer will probably play a smarter match to keep the ball out of Cilic’s strike zone.

    Querrey’s my other pick to make the semis, although there’s not much between him and Raonic. As far as serve goes, it’s almost even. But Querrey’s got a better ground game than Raonic, whose movement can be suspect in the crunch. He’s also got the confidence from beating Djokovic–if he didn’t have a letdown after that, he’s not going to have one, period. Plus Raonic may be a bit tired after coming back from two sets down against Goffin.

  15. Good to notice Roger playing better each round but the competition so far has been more of a practice session. It is real competition from here on out. Cilic completely outplayed Roger at the US Open last time Djoker was taken out early making us waiting eagerly to watch him lift another cup leave disappointed. Two major differences though. Cilic is not the same player since winning that year and Roger is not the tired opponent playing long five setters and physically and mentally drained especially after the late night Clownfils match. Hope to see Roger in another final especially with no expectation at all this year seeing him in Djoker’s half. Let’s all bel18ve one round at a time. Just 3 more to go! πŸ™‚

  16. I think Cilic at his best would easily beat Roger at his current best. The good news is, Cilic is nowhere near his best. Neither is Roger. If it stays that way, Roger finds a way to win, in my opinion.

    1. About Cilic, it wasn’t all fatigue in 2014. In the same year (Toronto, I think) Cilic pushed Fed to a 3 setter and both were fairly fresh then. That was a very tight match. Like Del Potro , Cilic has that wingspan and the angles, plus can fire serves. But the ball bounces lower here, so Fed’s slice should force him to bend down more hopefully.

      Fed beat Del Potro here in the Olympics; he lost to Berdych in 2010 of course, a similar big weapons guy, and Tsonga too. Now Cilic is no Tsonga in terms of net play and finesse, but he is has major power.

      The good news is that Federer has a good memory and his team should come up with some ideas hopefully.

      1. Fatigue played a big part as Fed was a step slower after going 5 with Monf. Can’t complain as obviously part of winning a slam is trying to keep energy for that final push. Same thing cost Murray at the French.

        No guarantee he would have beat Cilic with how well he was playing, but would have gone 4 or 5 if he was on the money.

  17. Was at match today. Def his best game so far! FH really clicked and forward movement fabulous! Was that the sight of Edberg in his box? Hope so, volleyed very well today! Stats don’t lie!
    I see him beating Cilic! 3/4 sets!
    Muzz still clear fav, and prob more so after his dismantling of Nick. Muzz was scary good! Raonic will beat Sam and will prob grow in confidence after that comeback v Goffin! He’s the danger man… Deffo

      1. Prob not! It never fails to interest me how different a match looks live compared to TV. Fed plays vv well. He was pacey and on his toes throughout. Also hitting with more depth. If he comes forward and mixes it up like that v Marin, he will win, no doubt..

    1. Awesome Susie, so so lucky! Great that some true tennis fans are taking some seats in there and not random social media elitists who just want a cool shot for their instagram.

      1. Hope you do go again really appreciate and enjoy the court side perspective you bring to us especially from your local tournament !

    2. Murray was good but Kyrgios checked out the mactch, bad matchup for him but he just gave up after first set missed volley. No conviction. Lot of bravado.

  18. The most reassuring thing to me today – besides Roger’s trajectory over the tourney so far – was when he recalled USO ’14 and said Cilic “brushed him aside like I was nothing” in the presser today. That was exactly what happened.

    And I’m glad it’s not been forgotten.

    I have never seen Federer ever beaten like that and while I don’t want him psyched out by the memory, I want him aware of how good Cilic can play him.

    Even if he’s not been as on point since – Marin will be feeding off that memory and game plan from ’14 and I predict he will try to bring the same heat from the get go. I hope he over does it.

    I really want Fed to get this, but I still think it’s going to be at Murray Raonic final.

    1. Or rather…that’s what my brain says.

      But I admit my heart is being wooed into foolish hope by the GOAT.

    2. I just watched highlights of USO Clic – he deffo got blown off court but had quite a few half chances. Step quicker and that match goes 4 or 5.

  19. So happy Fed won again! He’s definitely looking better match by match! Cilic will be dangerous, but idk I have a feeling he will find a way through. Fingers crossed. Get your payback, Roger!

    Murray looks really good too, but best match of the day by far Cibulkova/ Radwanska! She is such a fighter.

  20. Not sure about Cilic level. Let’s wait for it!
    But what an awesome match.. After a long time I had seen his movement so swift… Just loved the way he opened up the entire court… deep returns, angled forehands, couple of stunning backhands, exquisite touch on volleys…I watched entire match on hotstar at work ? and then highlights… Superb..I love you RF. BEL18VE

    1. Wow, Federerholic! Sounds like Fed played awesome! Who was he playing again? πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah like I wished for one more grass court match vs Nadal when FED is in good form…(atleast 2015 SF form). since 2008, FED won Wimbledon twice and was in another 2 F’s but nadal either gets injured or chickens out….. not my problem..

  21. I Wonder what happened to ruan. He stopped updating his blog since the Djokovic loss.. ahahahaa

    1. He’s trying to cover all bases and now says he would be happy if Roger wins. Such a half-hearted compliment doesn’t count to me. Secretly, I know he wants him to lose. I am not sure if there is anything left there from his once unquestionable love for the Great Roger Federer. He’s sold his soul to Djokovic and there is that.

  22. I just realized that perhaps having to play Cilic/ Raonic/ Murray would be the perfect order of things and preparation for Federer.

    I think that Roger should not run away from the opposition but instead take them on in the level of difficulty.

    I noticed that on his way to the Queens Title, Murray beat Cilic in 3 sets in the SFs and Raonic in 3 sets in the Finals.

    So, in a way, it makes perfect sense to take on Cilic first. If he succeeds, he’ll go a step up and take on Raonic and if he succeeds again, he’ll go a step up again and finally take on Murray.

    I don’t mind this. In the end, I’d rather either see that Roger is not ready and lose early versus going through some easy competition only to get beaten soundly in the final.

    So a Cilic > Raonic > Murray progression is ideal. Just take it one match at a time and take each match extremely seriously and hopefully jump on each opponent so that the matches can be won.

    Anyway, that’s my take. No fear and let’s go! ?

    1. Well if you ask me today I can not imagine Roger beating these three, one after another. His form is simply not there yet. A good win against Johnson but then Johnson pretty much gave away the first two sets. Kudos to Roger for handling the tougher set 3 well. Cilic will be a handful, it all depends on how they turn up on the day.

      It will be really hard for Fed fans though, if Roger does make it into the final, but yet again to fall short of holding the trophy the third time in three years. Well one match at a time, I can’t see him in final yet!

      1. Perhaps we as fans could use little composure here and not worry about what happens next. I dont think its been a practice sessiom so far from Fed, he was tested in R1 and R3 , and the latter half of R4 as far as his baseline game and movement was concerned. Federer is a different player altogether from his tune-up tournaments. I am not saying he is the heavy favourite , but he is positive , fresh and has already played 11 grass court matches before stepping out for quarters of wimby (not sure if he has played that many before heading into the latter stages of wimbledon) so has matches under his belt too. Yes that semifinal last year against murray was on a completely different level, but federer is getting closer and closer to it every match. The fact that Federer is not the favourite anymore makes it even more interesting. Lets enjoy the G.O.A.T while still can. I missed Roger a lot post his surgery/off period.
        Wishing him the best of luck and good health, because Federer on song at CC is a blessing to have.

      2. Yeah well said Addey.

        And no point looking ahead to the semi’s. Nobody is there yet. Tomorrow will be a tough one.

  23. Positive note, Roger is improving with each round and can see his confidence is also increasing. Hope its just in time for his next match against Cilic. He must be happy entering into 2nd round with ease and building momentum on the way. Let him get through this match before we start thinking of Raonic or Murray. Let’s do this Roger!!!

    1. Don’t count out Sam the man. He showed what form he’s in by backing up the Djoker win. Most guys bomb out next round after a victory like that.

      1. Sam’s coach has done quite a lot for US tennis given the success and grit shown by Querrey and Johnson lately…it is a pleasing backstory of this year’s Wimbledon.

  24. Amazing how expectations have increased immensely in a span of a week which shows how quickly things can change in sport. Djokovic losing early can be partly to blame here but but making the quarters is a great achievement regardless of what happens from here on out. Pulling out of the French and playing 2 warm ups has reaped the benefits of allowing Fed to play himself into form with each round and if it doesn’t go his way, well you can’t really be mad because he did everything in his power to be ready for this tournament.

    Not much to add on the analysis with Cilic. Fed’s movement on the baseline and return game especially will be the make or break aspect. As others have already mentioned, he’s well aware of the blowout that occurred in NY. Hopefully Fed’s variety will be enough to overcome the one-two punch nature of Marin’s game, it would be excellent preparation if Milos is to also come through. Wondering if Ljubicic will be able to give Fed the edge a little bit here seeing as he would know the fellow Croatian pretty well and has played him before too.

      1. I love Stefan in the box. Even if he’s not coaching technically, his aura is coaching.

  25. Thanks Jonathan, agree completely. Roger was too relaxed in the third set, otherwise, everything else went well.

    On Cilic match, grass is different from HC, on which balls will not bounce so ideally high for Cilic to hit through like at the USO14 semi. If Cilic tries to unleash the similar power to what he did to Roger at the USO14, lots of his FH and BH will go either long or wide, as he prefers to hit flat. Cilic’s game is still rough, lacking finess, which is often wanted on grass. Roger has subdued big servers and hitters on grass multiple times in the past. At least, he knows how to deal with them. True, this year, his form is not as good as those in the previous years and they have never played on grass before (advantage to Cilic). Blowing Roger off court at SW19? it is not going to happen. Agree with Jonathan, Roger will go through in 3 or 4 sets.
    Allez Rog!

    1. I think you will be surprised at how firm the court is at Wimbledon and how high the balls bounce. This isn’t an easy match at all…

      1. True, especially patches around baselines due to a persistent trotting. What about the areas close to tramlines? presumably still lush? πŸ™‚

      2. Agree, they do bounce high… Good hitting zone for Cilic which is why slice and movement are the key.. And getting to net..

  26. The last part of that presser!! “I hope I can win Wimbledon one more time”

    Please Cilic. I totally love you but could kindly not choose the two tournaments in which Federer has had the best chance of winning his 18th slam to arise from your slumber and then just as quickly go back into hibernation.

      1. Nope (or for Andy?). I was surprised, but I guess given the line-up the powers that be want the (remaining) big names for CC.

  27. I’ve just had a look at the performance of Roger’s and Cilic’s season so far through the ATPWT website. Although Roger’s season is rotten enough for reaching only F, SF and GF, his is still way better than Cilic’s, who had a few very early run exit to absolute nobodies. I can sleep well tonight πŸ™‚ .

    1. What happened earlier in the year doesn’t count for much for either guy – Fed hasn’t played, Cilic up and down. But the scoreboard starts at 0-0.

  28. Jonathan – I think you’re pretty balanced in your “prediction”. But I’m surprised you are even as hopeful as you are about tomorrow. I’m not saying you’re wrong in giving Roger a solid shot at all, but help me here: given the USO total drubbing , Fed being in quite less than 100%, not having faced a top player, Cilic rested and rocking the draw so far – why would you not be more clearly seeing Cilic as the strong favorite?

    Give me some hope here…

    1. Well the USO was 2 years ago. Cilic played unbelievable, Fed was not at his best. Fed looks like he is gaining enough momentum to win IMO. Like I said – if he is rushed and doesn’t have time on the ball – Cilic wins. If he’s not rushed (which is very difficult for someone to do btw) then he will win.

      1. In the end, it all starts and ends with Roger’s serving. If it’s up to par, he’ll win. His whole game has always revolved around his serving.

    1. Yeah Fed’s pressers have been relaxed this week. Guess it helps that he did barely any press pre tournament. Usually with ESPN etc. early in the week, held off until the other day..

      1. It feels a bit like 2014. He doesn’t have much expectations while also he see an opening and is getting ready to pounds. We’ll see.

  29. Feeling rather whacked here after a very long and tiring trip to SW19, so haven’t caught up with this match yet, and am keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow because I don’t know how fit Roger really is. (Keeping my toes crossed, as well, come to that)

      1. Thankfully, no – I went yesterday. Not sure I’d have survived today – it was bad enough listening to the radio!

  30. I’m very positive with faith that Federer will win over Cilic, but for the first time in a long time, I’m looking for ways to skip watching this match and I think I will.n
    Cilic not only broke Federer in US Open 2012, he also broke me cos my expectations were so high in that match and then boom it was over before it started.
    This time around, Federer takes it in straights and I’m not going to see any other angle to it.
    #stubborn fan ?

  31. I saw Fed’s practice before this match, saw a lot of net practices too. I hope he can remember Cilic passed hi. A lot at the net @ d US Open. He needs deep, accurate balls close to the lines to make that trip to the net. SABR’s may not be wise, drop shots must be accurate serves precise. Cilic’s back must bend and break!

  32. Thanks for the US Open highlights Jonathan. I see Colic has one game plan to destroy Federer’s backhand. I refuse to feed myself with fear anymore πŸ™‚

    1. The backhand that’s been more reliable than the FH recently? (How many other people have said that recently? Have they been *watching* Roger’s recent matches?)

      I decided that I would be pretty happy if the winners of both singles tournaments were the oldest players currently in the draw on either side.

      1. OTOH, I’m starting to get ahead of myself here, which is never a good thing where Roger’s concerned. I must keep my eyes firmly fixed on the current match, and not look beyond it.

  33. Too bad the first set slipped away. Fed needs to press harder to break him in remaining 3 ☺

  34. Fed can’t buy a good serve. Every time he hits a second, Cilic slaps it to set up a winner. This will be a short match, I think.

  35. Not looking good, Roger not getting a say… not able to break back with Cilic giving him 2 double faults and 2 ue…

  36. Fed also can’t buy a return to save his life. Every shot is square into the net. This is the problem with having cupcakes first four rounds. It takes him too long to get into form for a battle at this point, and then it’s too late. Losing both points on serve in your tiebreak to start? Ridiculous.

  37. He doesn’t have it anymore. He should enter Halle and Wimbledon, win one more grass court match to take that record, and retire. He’ll still be the best grass player ever, and that’s something. He doesn’t have the reflexes or the concentration to beat big servers consistently anymore, or any top player frankly. He used to whip on guys like Karlovic and Cilic, but it won’t happen often now.

    1. Retire cause he’s losing to a very good Cilic? Agree he’s not doing his best, but Cilic is playing extremely well…

      1. No, I meant that generally. How much longer should he keep playing and losing in the meat of tournaments? He doesn’t need the money, there’s no glory, it’s just watching your skill deteriorate every week. And I’m tired of all his opponents being “very good.” Fed is also pretty good, and he shouldn’t just beat opponents who are off their game.

  38. Right on cue, that easy backhand winner right at the net to go up 0-30, dumped like a terrible club player. And then another easy backhand down the line, dumped like a terrible club player. It’s painful to watch this atrocity. Granted, he could’ve lost the game still up 0-30, but you need to be in that position! It’s pointless to hope for any more achievements with Roger. We’ve been mostly spoiled, but that’s it. This is purely spectating now.

    1. As bad as it looks, one break is all Roger needs and this match could turn on its head. One break.

      As Jonathan pointed out, a longer match favors Roger. Take Set 3, and Set 4 becomes the decider for all practical purposes.

      One break!

      1. Got the break! Oh please, please, serve it out Roger. This could be it.

  39. Let’s see how this affects Cilic. Could be a new match this. Though Cilic needs to start serving a little less well I think.

    Amazing that Roger was facing 3 virtual match points and then goes on to win the set… love this sport

  40. It’s surprising how many break points he throws away by pulling the trigger tooo early

  41. This is over. Cilic facing breaking point down 2-3, 30-40 in Set 5. Federer sends a routine backhand into the net.

    Vintage Federer. It’s over.

    1. that’s what i thought, imagining he getting broken on next game…Somehow turned out otherwise…I just hope this match helps him in SF somehow, not a let down like 14 USO…Fingers Crossed..

  42. I will eat crow. What a last stand. I now have hopes up for the semi, where he might be exhausted.

    1. And I will eat just about anything that lands on my dish, and I don’t even care about having had a tooth extracted 2 days ago and having the gums sour and swollen.
      That old fart is the greatest sadistic in the world. And we are the greatest masochistic schmucks.

    2. Yesyes, you NEVER know with Fed. Don’t come up with ANY r-comments, please, as long Roger enjoys to play – lose or win!

  43. Hell yes! Fighterer! ! Beating a fantastic Cilic at his own game, coming from 2-0 down and saving match points… Brilliant!!

  44. Well, some relief there, shows that mentally, he still is very much there. Cilic lost the match as much as Roger won it. Can he maintain the level of game coz this may not be enough for matches ahead. Maybe for SF.

    1. I don’t think fatigue will be as much of a factor as points vs raonic are going to be pretty quick but roger has to hold serve and make returns. Playing raonic is much better than djokovic though ?

  45. I DID IT!!!!! 18TH!!!!!

    Good gracious. I don’t know if I care too much if he loses to Milos. This was way more than I expected from Fed. He’s already done good in my book.

  46. Whether he wins or loses the tournament, this match was super important for Federer to confirm that he still has what it takes to mix it up with the best players on the biggest stages and prevail against seemingly hopeless odds even after recovering from surgery…what a comeback! Especially against a former Grand Slam champion.

    It was just what the doctor ordered. We’ll just have to see if he has enough gas in the tank for Friday, but at least he played the first match on center court so he’ll have some more time to rest. Also, it was a short match–3 hours and 17 minutes for five sets. (The Monfils QF at USO ’14 was over four hours).

    1. I believe this match will turn out to be very important for Roger – whether short-term or long-term, I don’t know, but it may be exactly what he needed in many respects.

  47. That blunder at 6-4 3rd set tiebreak where Roger hit a sitter long was too much for me to stomach. And then set point turning into match point for Cilic…it’s really amazing how Roger manage to turn the match around. Hopefully against Raonic would not be so close. I have lost all my fingernails already from biting today.

    1. I don’t think that was a sitter. He had to get around the dying ball, and make a good approach first. He got a bit tight. But yet, I thought that was it. Is that the same point we are talking about?

  48. Watching Federer is like having a High Intensity Interval Training for cardio.

    Feels like someone ripped my heart off, then put it back, defibrillator, beating again, then repeat from the beginning.

    Glad he won the match, but maybe I will die young if he keep doing like this πŸ™‚

    1. Or you will grow a heart the size of an elephant!

      (a colleague of mine even asked me what was wrong with me this afternoon… I didn’t dare say that I checked in my office every 10 minutes to see the score)

      F**k. Why do we have to go through this? Why, oh why? Are we insane or what? And I don’t even give a rat’s ass about this evening’s football SF. Screw them ball kickers and pseudo-patriots.

      1. [Screw them ball kickers and pseudo-patriots.]

        I’d agree to that. They need to grow a pair, especially Ronaldo, who falls down at the slightest contact. And Messi is nothing but a genetic experiment.

    2. And this is exactly why I never, ever watch Roger’s matches live, Amar! This modus operandi has saved me years of my life.

      For some painful losses I can’t bring myself to watch the highlights even after years. I haven’t seen the Wimledon final of 2015, for example, although I might be ready to finally tackle Wimledon 2014 πŸ™‚

      BTW, there’s a new Federer book out. It’s called Fedegraphica and it’s by Mark Hodgkinson. Maybe it would be a nice idea for Jonathan/us blog readers to review some books on Roger when PeRFect Tennis rolls into its winter hiatus?

      1. 2014 was worse, actually, at least for me. Because of the fightback in set 4.

  49. He seemed a lot less genial at his presser. Is that intensity kicking in because of what’s ahead?

    1. Come on, you don’t expect Fedsey to come up with a philosophical treatise ever presser, do you?!

      Even exhausted, he’s always able to put out a string of logically interconnected ideas that add something new to their premises, where most sportsmen can’t get past babbling a disjointed bunch of trivialities.

      1. Totally.

        You’re right.

        I’m just nervous. Wondering if now he’s worried and stressed about exhaustion and gonna be too wiped out for Robonic on Friday.

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