After a wild and upset-filled two weeks, we are left with a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final. It will be Roger Federer taking on Marin Cilic for the Australian Open title on Sunday. The defending champ holds an 8-1 record against the Croat, with Marin’s only win coming in a dominant straight-set rout at Flushing Meadows back in 2014 on his way to his only grand slam title. Despite my obvious favoritism for Federer, here is an unbiased preview for the Men’s final.
How Cilic got here
After the crushing defeat at Wimbledon where Federer made Cilic cry like a baby, he seemed to lose his game for a little bit. He would exit the US Open in his third round match against Schwartzman. He failed to win a single match at the Nitto ATP Finals, going 0-3 in round robin play. However, 2018 is looking to be another strong year for Cilic. After getting through the first round with a four set win over Vasek Pospisil, he settled into his game. He took out Sousa and Harrison both in straight sets. He would drop the first set against Carreno Busta, but climb back to win in four sets to book a quarterfinal match against #1 Rafael Nadal.
Cilic would have to raise his level if he wanted to keep Nadal from reaching back to back Australian Open finals. The quarterfinal had no shortage of drama. Rafa would take a two set to one lead, grinding out the third set in a breaker. Cilic got off to a hot start in the fourth and after Rafa took a medical timeout trailing 4-1, he would retire down 2-0 in the fifth. Cilic would then cruise pass Kyle Edmund and book his spot in the final.
Federer aims for the back to back
Roger Federer tweeted at the beginning of the tournament asking his followers to photoshop him as a superhero. Thanks to my expert graphic design skills, the legend himself responded and gave props to our emoji version of Super Fed. I would say that picture is an accurate description of how Federer has played so far this year. The indisputable GOAT has yet to drop a set Down Under in his attempt to defend his title. The fast court of Rod Laver Arena has allowed him to remain on cruise control while the other top names in his half broke down. The possible matches his draw offered were appetizing. Querrey, Zverev, Novak and Nadal all could’ve thwarted Federer’s title defense, but they failed to reach the round to play him. His most anticipated match turned out to be against a 21-year-old first time semifinalist.
There was a lot of hype surrounding his match against the young gun, Hyeon Chung. Chung had beaten both Zverev brothers and Novak Djokovic already. He dismissed Djokovic in straight sets. Sure, Novak wasn’t 100%, but to beat the 6-time champ in Australia is never an easy task. A few members of the CR team were hoping his run would continue on to the finals. Unfortunately for them and Chung, he was forced to retired in the second set due to the blisters on his feet.
So here we are. Roger Federer, at 36 years old is gearing up to play in his 30th grand slam final. If he wins, he will join Serena, Steffi and Margaret Court as the only players with at least 20 major titles. He would tie Novak with six titles in Australia. It would be his fourth major after turning 30, which would tie Ken Rosewall and the great Rod Laver for the most majors after reaching that age.
While age and wear seem to be setting in for his rivals, father time seems to be struggling to get his hands on Roger. Back in 2011, there were people who questioned whether he would ever be able to win another slam. Take the fools over at Bleacher Report for example. They wrote numerous articles claiming that nonsense. Federer has proved all the doubters wrong 3 times since. And I’m pretty confident in saying that tomorrow will be the fourth. Cilic has the power to give Roger problems, but the way Fed has been playing and how good he says he feels, its hard to imagine him not hoisting his buddy Norman for a sixth time. You got to feel for Cilic. A mere human who has the daunting task of trying to defeat a superhero.
Okay, so the preview was a little biased. Sue me.
After a wild Women’s Final, we sure can’t wait for the Men’s Final tonight! Let us know who you think will win it in the comments below.