The first reason concerns the fact that Cilic has beaten Federer at a grand slam, and then it narrows the point down to having beaten him in a GS SF. As the logic goes, if he’s already done this, I will do it again. This is actually a final, but we get the logic. And one can’t really disagree with this, to a certain extent.
However, Federer, as I pointed-out in my preview, has lost a lot in these situations. More logic: the more one finds these big matches, these deeper draws, the more chances one has to lose; and Roger has lost his fair share.
According to the article: “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.”
But let’s revise for the sake of discussion and say “beaten Federer deep in a major.” The list is actually pretty legitimate: Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro, Berdych (WB QF/USO QF), Tsonga (WB QF), Raonic, and there’s a others out there.
Folks, there’s really no surprise here, unless I suppose Cilic routines Federer; and even then, this is sport, this is why they play the game. Not only can the underdog win, but they often do. And to this article’s click-bate breath — Cilic can beat Federer.
But this would not be some example of David v Goliath, nor is this support for some idea that Cilic has the goods on beating Federer at a grand slam. That’s a misread. It’s more like join the club, Marin.
If Federer does actually take care of business here in Melbourne, we have to remember the Federer – Ljubičić correspondence or coincidence or correlation. He came aboard early 2016, Federer was injured early and again in the spring, pulled the plug after 2016 WB, and upon returning healthy at the start of 2017 has been shameless. With Ljubičić at the helm.
Reference to another article with a another drop-shot of insight, concerning Ljubičić. Goran Ivanisevic praising coach Ivan Ljubičić:
He said: “As a tennis player he was very professional.
“He was number three in the world. He was huge competition to Roger when they played. He won the Davis Cup almost alone.
“He was one of the best servers ever, great coach – he coached Raonic very successfully and since he came, Roger is just playing amazing tennis, last year, this year.”
I am not as handsome as Goran, but we think alike. The business-end of the point, game, set and match under Ivan has been Ivan-like. What Goran is referencing here.
I have brought this up several times (recall some of my writing post 2017 Melbourne): the sober and reflective counsel to Federer’s preparation and the coaching etiquette juxtaposed with the familial joy from Ljubičić following a significant win.
I often reference Indian Wells 2010 to evidence Ivan’s terrifying tennis. Trivia: Who won IW that year? Answer: Ivan Ljubičić. And I always include highlights of his draw. In order to claim that prestigious title, he beat Djokovic R16 in straights, Nadal in the semi-final and Roddick in the final. Beating Novak in straights there, and coming from a set down to take-out Nadal, 7-1 in the 3rd set TB — that’s gangster.
I think Ivan’s character influence is an added difficulty in dealing with Federer. We should suspect that if Cilic wins (unless he’s brilliantly manic and unstoppable), this will go five sets. In which case, obviously, the match will become as much mental as physical.Three hours until the first ball toss.
Hopefully we’re in for a classic.
A little beside the point, but I love this line from Joel Drucker, seasoned tennis writer from his Federer v Chung post-match analysis. He is commenting on Federer’s inexperience with Chung:
“But if you’re Federer, graced with the widest array of tools tennis has ever seen, it hardly takes much time to commence the probe with the alacrity of a dentist inspecting a child’s teeth within weeks of Halloween. Any cavities will rapidly be detected.”
Drucker with the DTL pass!