Wimbledon SF preview and prediction: Cilic vs. Querrey

Marin Cilic and Sam Querrey will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when they square off in a surprising Wimbledon semifinal on Friday.

All four of their previous encounters have gone Cilic’s way, but all three of their grass-court contests–including two at the All-England Club–have gone the distance. The Croat prevailed 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 in 2009 and 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(13), 17-15 in 2012 to go along with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory in the 2012 Queen’s Club semis.

As those two Wimbledon results suggest, Querrey is no stranger to five-setters in SW19. In fact, he survived three in a row–the seventh, eighth, and ninth five-setters of his Wimbledon career–to book his spot alongside Cilic in the final four. The 28th-ranked American followed up more routine wins over Thomas Fabbiano and Nikoloz Basilashvili by outlasting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kevin Anderson, and Andy Murray. Querrey trailed Murray by two sets to one on Wednesday but took advantage of a hobbled world No. 1 to eventually triumph 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-1.

Although this matchup is a surprising one, it has not exactly come out of nowhere. Wimbledon, after all, is high on the list of favorite tournaments for both players. Querrey also reached the quarterfinals last year and Cilic has advanced to at least the quarterfinals four years in a row. The sixth-ranked Croat finally got over that hump and punched a ticket to the semis by holding off Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 on Wednesday. He had previously not dropped a single set in defeats of Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, Steve Johnson, and Roberto Bautista Agut.

This matchup between two players with similar styles is not a great one for Querrey, who may only have an edge in the serving department. But Cilic has been serving incredibly well this fortnight, with 70 aces to only seven double-faults in his first four matches and 32 more aces against Muller. The No. 7 seed has more firepower off the ground–especially off the backhand side–and does a superior job of finishing points around the net.

Additionally, Cilic has more experience at this stage of majors and even won the U.S. Open 2014. Querrey’s run has been an amazing one, but this is likely where it ends.

Pick: Cilic in 4

13 Comments on Wimbledon SF preview and prediction: Cilic vs. Querrey

  1. Cilic showing some mental toughness here. It looked like Sam was going to win the fourth set. But Cilic is fighting hard for this.

    I thought it would go four or five sets. It’s turned out to be a good one. Well done to both guys.

    • Right MA, Cilic showed a lot of heart and determination against a pesky and gritty opponent. Well done, both guys!
      Cilic is a worthy finalist. It would be great if he could emulate Goran on Sunday.

      • Yeah littlefoot!!…I think he will give Rog a very stern test this sunday!…he’s soooo confident atm…it would be nice if he can add his 2nd slams to his tally…can’t wait to see the final…

  2. Wooohooohohohohohohoho!!….Yes Cilic won!!….Credit to Sam as well for giving us a very exciting match!….Look out Rog!!…You’ve got a competition in Cilic!!

  3. Three consecutive errors from Querrey and Cilic now has MP. Come on Cilic!

    Yes!!! Vamos Marin!! 💪
    Into the final!! Yay!!

    • Nothing against Querrey, who played a great tournament – although he profitted from Murray’s sore hip. But a Querrey-Fed final would’ve been a very one-sided affair. Cilic just might be able to make it a match.

  4. Great win for Marin, being down a break in the 4th. If he plays Fed in the final, I think it has potential to be a 5-set epic like last year! He certainly won’t be able to afford to get broken a couple times like he did today. If he plays Berdych in the final, I think it’s definitely going to be a Wimbledon title for Marin…

    • Cilic was heartbroken last year after he lost the 5-set epic. I’m not sure if that helps or hinders him if he will get the opportunity for revenge. But first Fed will have to make the final. Let’s see what Berdych is able to bring to the table…

  5. Querrey is playing well, gritty as well. He’s calm and cool too, probably just a bit tired. Commies to him, but I’m not complaining when Marin can be in the final.

    As I said, this match is very entertaining with some great jottings, big servings and deft touches. I hope Marin brings his best to the final, and calms his nerve. Vamos Marin Cilic!

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