Wimbledon final preview and prediction: Federer vs. Cilic

It will be a rematch of one of last year’s most memorable Wimbledon moments when Roger Federer and Marin Cilic meet again on Sunday at the All-England Club, this time with a Grand Slam title at stake.

In a 2016 quarterfinal contest, Cilic led Federer two sets to love only to see the Swiss storm back for a 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3 victory. That extended Federer’s head-to-head series lead to 6-1 and they have not faced each other since. If the former world No. 1’s 2016 Wimbledon comeback was impressive, Cilic’s lone win over him was nothing short of remarkable. In the 2014 U.S. Open semis, the Croat was just about unplayable in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 romp that led to his first major triumph two days later.

Both men have been close to if not at their absolute best throughout this fortnight, to the extent that they are clearly the cream of the crop on grass right now–at least given the physical problems of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

For the third time in his career, Federer is through to a Wimbledon final without dropping a single set. The 35-year-old erased Alexandr Dolgopolov (via second-set retirement), Dusan Lajovic, Mischa Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, and Tomas Berdych to reach his 11th Wimbledon final overall. He is 30-2 this season with titles at the Australian Open, Indian Wells Masters, Miami Masters, and the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

Given his own current form and his draw (with Murray ailing and Rafael Nadal having struggled mightily at the All-England Club dating back to 2012), Cilic was always a serious contender to be the top-half finalist. That turned out to be exactly the case, starting with convincing blowouts of Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, Steve Johnson, and Roberto Bautista Agut before tougher victories over Gilles Muller (five sets) and Sam Querrey (four). The sixth-ranked Croat is 22-5 since beginning the year with an alarmingly poor 7-8 record.

“It’s a nice change,” Federer said when asked about facing someone other than Murray, Nadal, or Djokovic in a major title match. “But it doesn’t make things easier, in my opinion.”

Cilic went up against Kei Nishikori in his only previous slam final and dominated 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. It goes without saying that a date with a red-hot 18-time Grand Slam champion will be a much tougher proposition.

“I believe this is his home court, (the) place where he feels the best and knows that he can play the best game,” Cilic said of Federer. “Obviously I’m going to look back 12 months ago…. I was one point away from winning a match over here against him. Definitely I believe in my own abilities to get through and to win it.

“But I still know that it’s a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe one of his best tennis of his career at the moment; having a great season. It’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Cilic at his peak is one of the few players who can trouble Federer right now, and the underdog can do it even on grass. His serve, when it is firing on all cylinders like it did three years ago in New York, is one of the most dangerous in the sport. Cilic can also take time away from Federer because he hits so big off both wings from the back of the court.

That being said, Federer has been just about flawless this fortnight. These are the seven-time Wimbledon champion’s unforced error totals in his six previous matches: seven, 15, seven, 10, nine, and 19. Cilic got away with some breakdowns off his backhand side against Querrey, but he will not be able to get away with any of that on Sunday–not against Roger Federer in a Grand Slam final.

Although this will almost certainly be Federer’s most difficult test of the tournament, it continues to look like nothing will stand in his way of another Wimbledon triumph.

Pick: Federer in 4

86 Comments on Wimbledon final preview and prediction: Federer vs. Cilic

  1. Incredible really is the word attributable to what this man is doing. I could not watch much of Wimbledon and even the final as J was travelling back to London today after a nice summer vacation with my wife.

    I read that Cilic was injured so feel bad for him. I am ahre it would have been tougher but the outcome would have been the same.

    19th slam at almost 36 is INCREDIBLE. I can only admire what this man is doing.

    Congrats to all the Roger fans. As for the USO, I see Fedal as the joint favourites. Yes I believe Rafa has a great chance to win his 3rd USO.

    The race to no.1 is also between these two now obviously.

  2. Watch the highlights, im sure it will be one the most boring in the history of Wimbledon. there’s was less than a handful of winners (not great shots) the whole match. It was a match of unforced errors by one player.

  3. Cupcake draws, weak era, all go for a toss , when somebody @ 35 takes a break and wins 2 out of 2 Grand Slams, first one being outside top 16 and smearing through the draw and second one without losing a set. I think Fed is pushing the bar really high now. We want healthy Djoker back.

  4. Ermm…I want to take this opportunity to give millions of congrats to my fellow Rog fans on here such as Joe Smith,Eugene,Benny,Big Al?..and whomever that i forgot to say their name atm….God!Roger are AWESOME!!!!…and u guys too!!….It’s a great feelings to experienced at this moment right??Enjoy it to the fullest guys!!….God knows,u guys deserve it as much as Rog!…

    P/S….Sorry,a little late to give my congrats guys…i’m out of town and internet was sucks!!…

      • Hehe.yeah me too Big Al…I am a BIGGG Rafa fan…but i am also a Big fan of the Big 4 as well…To me,they’re all amazing..and everytime they play..it’s hard to ignore their ‘awesomeness’…i can’t help but respect their talent very much…

        • Thank you MA a lot 🙂 That feels special. So happy for fim and his family. Regarding Cilic, I think this experience will benefit him in the longterm. He will win Wimbledon one day, I hope.

          • Hehe…You’re most welcome Eugene!…I’m so happy for u guys!!…although feel a little bit disappointed because now it’s almost impossible for Rafa to at least be ‘near’ Roger[hahaha!]..but it is what it is…no need to be disappointed actually…i believe in this life,we’re all got our shares that was meant for us from the beginning…and Roger was meant to bagged his 19th for now…

            As for Cilic…God knows i wish him win his 2nd slams in the future…Really really hope he’ll get it..but then he has to work very hard for it…but to get pass those mental barrier is really hard…that’s why we’ve only got a Big 4 and not Big 6,7 or 8 right Eugene?

            • Mira Andi (AT 12:41 PM),

              Rafa will always have 5 years to close the gap between himself and Fed.:)

            • Thank you MA. I believe Cilic can win at least one more slam. Everyone has some barriers/challenges to overcome and if he will work on it and accept help from other people, he can definitely do it.
              The gap between Rafa and Fed? Well they are both amazing. When I see their achievents and how much love they get from fans and their families, the gap is less important :)) I wouldn’t mind Rafa to close the gap, but that’s difficult. They have nothing to proof. After 30, tennis should be about enjoying. Fedal too serious :)))

            • Eugene says AT 3:26 PM: “After 30, tennis should be about enjoying.”
              ===
              Rafa has always enjoyed playing tennis, he hasn’t been forced to play it.

  5. @Lucky!!….Sorry on the behalf of Cilic…maybe he will have another chance..who knows…Wish him all the best in the future…Hope,he will take something positive from this painful encounter…

    • Thanks Mira. I feel so sorry for Cilic, to see him in tears like that. I really hope he can have a Wimbledon title in future, he’s clearly very good on grass. Hes really so happy that he finally reached the final this time, when in the past three years, he was stopped in the QF by either Djoko or Fed.

      I also remembered Rafa in 2007, after losing the final to Fed, he cried in the locker room or in the hotel, and thought that he might not have a chance in the future to win Wimbledon. We are glad Rafa won it the following year and now he has two Wimbledon titles.

      • Yeah Lucky..I guess if i watch the match,i will cry too!…definitely!…yeah,i guess no one can escape from this situations..they will at least cry once in their professional life…just like Andy,Novak,Rafa and Roger too..remember AO 2009?I really really hope,this warrior will get stronger if they’ve get a chance to make things right in the future…God!it’s heartbroken to see a tough and macho guy cry like that…i wish i won’t have to witness something like this ever again…sooo heartbroken…

      • Lucky- I’m calling it right now- Marin Cilic will be the Wimbledon champion sometime in the future. And I look forward to enjoying the moment with you when it happens. 🙂 He’s an amazing champion at the highest level, and his game is just so great for grass. I like to believe that his experience in yesterday’s final will only serve to prepare him for the next time he’s in the Wimbledon final. He will surely take more steps from the beginning of the tournament to make sure that he can keep the blisters at bay as much as possible. And I like to believe that he will be less overcome by the moment next time. I’m obviously not a psychic, but I would be very surprised if Marin doesn’t at LEAST win one more major in his career, either Wimbledon or US again. Personally, I think it will be Wimbledon one day. And I’m going to remember this post for when it happens. 🙂

  6. I didn’t think Cilic would do it because he is so prone to errors at crucial times. My only hope was that he did it at the USO so it was possible. Luckily, I wasn’t at home so didn’t watch it live but watching the recording, I am so glad I had something far more enjoyable to do on Sunday afternoon.

    Fed’s matches are boring on the whole except when he is pushed or playing one of the BIG 4. If the casual tennis viewer thinks Federeris the ultimate tennis player, then tennis is being short-changed.

    • Haha Fed plays exciting tennis with a lot of aggression and winners and flashy shots. That isn’t boring. I think the boring ones to watch are Novak and Andy. Guys lie Stan, Rafa, and Fed aren’t boring. But of course you would say Fed is boring to watch as a Rafan.

      • Nah Benny, Djoko and Murray aren’t boring to watch. Murray was so crafty, esp in his match vs Stan at the FO. If Murray wasn’t crafty, he would have lost in straight sets to Stan. Of course if Murray comes out looking half dead and playing defensive tennis without any strategy, then yes he’s pretty boring.

        Djoko can be awesome, no question about that, if he plays like he did vs Rafa at Doha 2016 final, and vs Fed at AO2016 SF. I do feel Djoko did play well on grass, his matches vs Delpo, Cilic and Fed at Wimbledon were some awesome tennis from him, to weather the storm against those very tough opponents.

      • I agree with you, Benny, especially about Murray. He may be an amazing player, and very crafty, but his often highly-defensive, long drawn out rallies get quite boring. Especially when he plays Novak. His game is just not classically pretty on the eyes, with the obvious exception of his backhand. His forehand has to be one of the ugliest shots I’ve ever seen, how he sort of leaps backward off of one foot. He is definitely crafty and can be cool to watch for a big tennis fan. But for people who don’t know much about tennis, he’s gotta be the most boring top player to watch out there…

        • Yeah I mean I would definitely pay money to see Murray or Djokovic play and I don’t dislike watching them. I only think they are boring in comparison to Fedal. But I don’t actually think they are literally boring to watch in general. Sorry I said it like that

  7. I’ve been curious about the very different reactions to this Wimby final vs. the RG final in June. The consensus -both on this site and in a few articles online that I’ve read- seems to be that whereas Rafa won his match against Stan by dominating him with excellent play, Federer won mostly because Cilic played so poorly he just gave him the match. That’s not at all what I saw, which were very comparable performances (near their very best) from Nadal and Federer, and very poor performances from Stan and Cilic. So I saw parity where others didn’t. As Lucky and others have said, it ultimately is a matter of opinion. However, it is interesting to compare the match stats, a relatively objective source of information which I think supports my take on things as against the consensus.

    Start with the incredible performances of Nadal and Federer. Rafa hit 65% of 1st serves in, winning 83%. Federer hit 76% of first serves in, winning 81%. Both players had the same winner/UE differential: Nadal 27/12; Federer 23/8. Both dominated total points: Nadal 94/57; Federer 96/64. Nadal won 6/13 break points; Federer 5/10. Of course, both men won their respective tournaments without dropping a set. Very comparable performances statistically.

    Now let’s compare Wawrinka and Cilic; this is where I think some people will be surprised. It was obvious that Cilic served poorly, especially at the beginning, but he actually served better than Stan. 1st serves in/won: Cilic 60%, winning 65%; Stan 58%, winning only 52%. (Stan won slightly more % of 2nd serve points: 44% vs. 39%). How about winners and UE? I’ve read one commentator: “Has anyone ever made more unforced errors in a slam final than Cilic did?” Well, yes actually: Stan made more last month at RG: 29 vs. 23 for Cilic. Stan did hit a few more winners (19 to 16 for Cilic), which means he had a lower differential of winners to UE: -10 vs -7 for Cilic. Finally, both men had just one break point chance, which they each failed to convert.

    In short, Cilic played very badly yesterday, but so did Stan Wawrinka last month in Paris. Both things are compatible with their opponents playing lights out tennis, which they did. What explains the different way in which these matches have been perceived? Mainly, I think, that Cilic broke down sobbing on court (an unprecedented event mid-match in men’s open-era slam history, to my knowledge), whereas Stan remained fairly staunch and even said post-match that Rafa didn’t allow him to play his game. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think that was a bit of a cop-out from him, but to the extent that it is true, I think it’s equally true of Cilic. Had Stan broke down crying mid-match and then mentioned a foot injury, and Cilic remained staunch and praised Federer to the heavens after the match, I suspect the public reaction would be quite different.

    In any event, the match stats support the view that these two performances (by Stan and Cilic) deserve to be treated as comparably bad; the two performances by Rafa and Fed, comparably good.

    • One can hardly compare matches on clay vs grass. Wawa was not at his best but did try the same tactics as with Nole to hit through Rafa…yet he was unable to do so because of Rafa’s extraordinary performance. Fed as well did great yesterday but Cilic was never to be dangerous IMO. He is weak mentally unlike Wawa who has bagged three GSs so far and who owns RG title unlike Cilic who has never reached the final at Wimby. It’s much easier to beat Nishi in the final than Fed, whereas Wawa has beaten red hot Nole to win two GS titles. The main variables are different to begin with so I do not see the point in comparing it rather than just to say that Wawa was favored in the RG final by many unlike Cilic for whom it was obvious he would end up losing…Cilic crying like a baby mid match was beyond comprehension no matter what the reason was behind it…it was pretty embarrassing but just proved how mentally unstable Cilic is…

      • I agree that it’s hard to compare clay vs. grass, but not impossible. Stan actually did hit through Rafa early on, and Cilic did a bit too yesterday. Some of the early rallies made me think that if he can stay consistent, Roger will have a hard time dealing with his power. The difference, imo, is that Stan gave up on his power game when he started missing and when some of his shots started coming back with interest. At that point I think he was sunk. Cilic, however, at least to my eye, didn’t give up on his game plan. He just couldn’t execute it, or even come close to executing it.

        I personally thought Stan had a good chance before that RG final, but I was in the distinct minority. Rafa was the clear favourite in that final, and I couldn’t find a single tennis analyst who picked Stan to win. OTOH, a few high-profile writers picked Cilic, including Tignor and Bodo.

    • I see your point Joe. I think people wanted to be respectful towards Cilic and encourage him, that’s why the invoked the ‘injury’. I think there was not any injury at all. 100% mental anxiety. He was overwhelmed. Simple, that’s it. It can happen, especially when playing against Fed, Rafa or Djoko. They have a special ‘aura’; more than that playing on the central court. As I said yesterday he will return more solid as ever. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen as soon as USO 2017 or later. But this guy will win Wimbledon.
      You are right Joe when you mentioned in one post that Cilic had nothing to do with Rogers amazing serves. You can’t influence that. I am just glad the Fed I wanted showed up yesterday.

  8. Nats, right, there’re certain points I can agree with you, ie Stan, a former FO champion at RG final certainly was a tougher opponent than a Cilic who’s a first time finalist at Wimbledon, especially given that Cilic wasn’t mentally strong the way Stan was at a slam final.

    I seriously think that a fit Cilic would at least play better and gotten a set off Fed, and pushed him harder. I’m not saying Cilic would win but at least he could play better.

    You’re right that we can’t compare clay to grass; on grass the points are shorter and the margin for error is smaller, maybe just a good serve and a not so good return and the point is lost.

    Both Rafa and Fed came out in their respective finals all guns blazing; Rafa didn’t allow Stan any opportunity to hit his powerful ground strokes; Fed otoh was serving well and returning well as he knew Cilic’s serve was his major weapon on grass.

    I do believe Cilic is a better player than Berdy is on grass, with better court craft and is quicker around the court, so it’s not unreasonable to expect him to break Fed’s serve at least once to get a set. However Fed is far too experienced and steady and will remain calm under most circumstances and so will weather the storm to win. Of course if his opponent in the final is Rafa or Djoko playing at their best, then perhaps Fed would make more errors.

    • Lucky, I agree with you. I did think Cilic would play better than this but I knew he stood no chance due to his mental weaknesses… we Rafans know if any the mental part is crucial especially in the big matches against quality opponents…this is what makes the big 4 exceptional…

      I was skeptical about Rafa’s chances on grass due to his recent history on grass, him not playing any worm up tournaments and also being emotionally spent from RG. However, I really think Rafa can win USO and will be the main competitor for the title along with Fed and Andy…don’t think Cilic will easily recover from this Wimby final… but I wish him all the best…

  9. Honestly for me the last two slam finals have consisted of a great performance from the favorite and a subpar performance from the underdog. I don’t see why we are debating the finals. They were pretty similar lol and Fedal won them so that is pretty sick.

    • We are debating it because that’s what a tennis forum is all about. Otherwise, why bother! If we all agreed then there would be nothing to discuss,

      The only resdin that Rafa winning the final at RG even was brought up, Is because a Fed fan decided to make it an issue in response to some Rafa fans saying that Cilic played poorly. Which apparently is blasphemy to some Fed fans. Otherwise, there is no reason to try and demean Rafa’s win,

      I happen to agree with both Nats and Lucky, I think they both made reasonable points about the difference between clay and grass. Also, the difference between Stan and Cilic. Stan as a three time slam winner who has beaten the top four to win slams and has shown himself to be much tougher mentally that Cilic.

      Stats don’t tell the whole story. Only some of it. Joe has once again decided that Stan’s own comments about how Rafa did not let him play his game, are a cop out! So he is basically contradicting Stan’s comments and assessment after the match because he chooses not to accept it! Which I find rather shocking. But I guess if comments from the player himself do not support one’s rafter dubious argument, than one must rewrite reality. Because that is essentially what is being done.

      For myself, I accept what Stan said. I see no reason why he would not be honest in saying what he believed.

      • I don’t necessarily blame Joe because Fedfans and Rafans will always naturally feel a need to defend their guy. In my opinion, the main difference between the two finals was that Fed didn’t put on quite the clinic that Rafa did in the final, not because he couldn’t but because he didn’t have to. Rafa was facing a guy who hadn’t lost a slam final, and he was absolutely clinical in that final. Fed was more clinical against Raonic then he was in the final. Raonic was not injured or suffering mental issues like Cilic was. If there was one guy Fed probably felt compelled to be clinical against, it would probably be the guy who beat him the previous year. But I think what Benny is trying to say is that these little details really don’t matter. They both faced great players on the respective surfaces, and didn’t concede a set to any of them. It’s definitely a little frustrating when people like Joe get defensive and struggle to be critical of their guy, but it’s not surprising. We see it all the time with Fedfans, Rafans, and Novak fans. It would be nice if everyone could totally objective, but that’s just not realistic…

        • Kevin,

          My issue is the fact that Rafa was brought into a discussion about the Wimbledon final only after a Rafa fan said that Cilic played poorly. Only at that point was the RG final brought into the discussion. It was petty and mean-spirited. I have seen this tactic used by Fed fans too many times in the past. For example, Rafa has all these titles at RG but it’s clay. Fed has all these titles and it’s Wimbledon on grass! This is the kind of tit-for-tat that goes on.

          Stan was not suffering from any mental anxiety that caused him to break down crying on the sidelines. Stan was not suffer no ftom a painful foot blister or anything physical. So that is an important difference. Apples and oranges.

          The other issue is that many have assumed that It was simply anxiety and a mental collapse on the part of Cilic. I made that assumption myself. But he did have a blister and that can be quite painful. Maybe once he realized that the blister was acting up and sensed that he would not be able to play his best, that’s why he broke down. We don’t know for sure how much was the blister snd how much was just anxiety. Only Cilic knows for sure. But there was a problem.

          Cilic said after the match that he did not play his best and was disappointed. Stan said after his match that Rafa did not allow him to play his game because he was just at a whole other level.

          There are differences between these two slam finals. I simply do not see why Rafa’s final was brought into the discussion.

          I don’t see why Fed fans can’t just be happy with his victory, no matter what the circumstances. No one is taking anything away from Fed. I think that Rafa fans for the most part have been very gracious about Fed’s victory. I don’t see the problem.

          It’s just unfortunate that a Fed fan has to get his nose out of joint over a comment about Cilic playing poorly and then felt the need to drag Rafa’s final into it. It’s childish and petty.

          I have congratulated Fed for his great achievement. There is no reason to take anything away from his victory and I don’t think that was the intention at all.

          As far as bias and lack of objectivity, no one is immune to that. It’s part of the human condition.

          • I get it, NNY. It is definitely annoying. I was agreeing with you. It is very common for the fans of Fed, Rafa, and Novak to bring the other guys into a discussion in order to try to discredit them. This has been a complaint of mine for a long time. I’m just trying to say that it’s really annoying and disrespectful, but that it’s always going to happen. There are many fans of the Big 3 that just get very defensive when anything is said that isn’t a perfect compliment to their guy. And it’s not just in tennis, it’s in all sports. It might be more rampant in tennis just because it’s an individual sport, and people are so passionate about an individual being. And people should be calling people out for it, like you did. 🙂 I’ve noticed over time that when a fan such as Joe says things like that, they often either don’t want to admit that they were being salty, or they are so biased that they can’t even see how they are being salty/biased/disrespectful/whatever. Part of the problem is that it’s like a revolving door of bias and saltiness. Joe has probably heard many instances where someone brought Rafa into a conversation that didn’t involve him just to try to discredit Fed, so naturally Joe will feel a need to do the same back. That’s the unfortunate part. It would be best if people like Joe were able to stay humble and just ignore the people who disrespect his guy, but we are very defensive and protective as humans. So as annoying as it is when Joe says something like that, I try to remind myself that he has probably been socialized to say things like because people have probably done it to him before. That’s what I try to keep in mind. I don’t want to make it seem like I disagree with you in any way, NNY…

            • Kevin,

              You can disagree with me all you like! That’s what it’s about!

              I can see where something might have happened where Fed was brought into a discussion unfairly. I am sure it has happened both ways.

              I still wish we could just celebrate these moments and be grateful that both Rafa and Fed are playing well and still in the game!

          • Nope, NNY, you’ve misunderstood. I didn’t object to Lucky and others’ claim that Cilic played poorly: I agree with that. Rather, it was the suggestion that Fed had little or nothing to do with Cilic’ poor play, that he didn’t have to do anything to win the match, etc. In short, it was minimizing the quality of Federer’s play in winning that match.

            If you read my long post above again, you’ll see that I am making a comparative point: Cilic played about as poorly as Wawrinka did, as measured by relatively objective criteria. Likewise, Federer played about as well as Nadal did, again by the same criteria. There is nothing petty about making such a comparison, when the background is the attempt of some Rafans -explicit or tacit- to minimize Federer’s victory.

        • Thanks for the psychoanalysis, Kevin.

          Sticking a bit closer to reality, you have to understand the context of my comment, which is Lucky and some other Rafans saying that Roger didn’t have to do anything to win this final, because Cilic played so poorly he just handed it to him (“he didn’t turn up”; “Roger had little to do with it,” etc.).

          The larger context is the persistent theme amongst some Rafans that Fed’s slam count should be minimized because so many of his victories have come against inferior and/or under-performing opposition. The main sub-theme, of course, is that the majority of his slams came during the “weak-era”. But many fans of Rafa will take any opportunity to minimize the quality of Federer’s slam final opponents, and I think Cilic fits that trend.

          As I said, I accept Lucky’s point that ultimately it’s a matter of opinion. That doesn’t mean there are no relevant objective facts, which is why I called attention to them. As I said, I think they support my claim.

          • Excuse me Joe, when did I say Fed didn’t need to do much to beat Cilic? Please don’t quote my name in vain! I didn’t say that at all!!! You’re getting unbelievable with your untrue comments!

    • You’re right, Benny. Both of them dominated their respective best major, neither of them dropping a set. Even if the matches in both runs were relatively one-sided, it’s simply a testament to the greatness of the two best to ever pick up a racquet. The both straight-setted arguably some of the best non-big4 players of the respective surfaces. It was never really in doubt that Fed was going to win that title, just like it was never really in doubt that Rafa was going to win RG. Even if the finals of the last two majors were one-sided affairs, I still personally love that Rafa and Fed both staked their claims and made history at their best majors. I think it’s only natural that people felt like the last couple finals were relative let-downs because the first major final of the year was comparatively epic. We never know how much longer those two guys will be around on tour, so I savor these moments where the run through the field. It’s what they always did when they were at their best! 🙂

  10. NNY
    “Cilic said after the match that he did not play his best and was disappointed. Stan said after his match that Rafa did not allow him to play his game because he was just at a whole other level.

    There are differences between these two slam finals. I simply do not see why Rafa’s final was brought into the discussion.”

    Fed fans simply can’t accept the facts and I agree that there is no need to compare Rafa’s win over Stan with Cilic behaving like a rabbit caught in headlights yesterday.

    • When you say ‘Fed fans simply can’t accept the facts’ you are not being more objective than those ‘fed fans’. You are generalizing. Exactly what I was discussing with luckystar a few days ago.
      ‘Some Fed fans’ would be a more appropiate statement nadline10, don’t you think? Or ‘a lot, a vast majority, a minority’. I don’t feek the need to compare those matches for various reasons. I just enjoy the moment.
      Would be nice not to read so often ‘Fed fans’ think that or this or refuse to accept reality :)) as if they are all one and the same person.

      • Eugene, I thought I used the word ‘Fed worshippers’, not Fed fans in general. ‘Fed worshippers’ are one specific group of worshippers; I was being specific there!

      • And Eugene, I agree with NNY. She did mention ‘a Fed fan’, referring to Joe and his comment(s). The term the Fed fans was used because they the Fed fans (many of them if not all, and not necessarily in this forum only) did try to belittle Rafa’s achievements, saying they were only on clay, as if clay isn’t/wasn’t a legitimate playing surface. It’s the elitist attitude of MANY Fed fans plus the worshippers that made THE Nadal fans simply very fed up!

        If you’re trying to be objective, then in future I hope you can also point out to those who used the term ‘the Nadal fans’ loosely, to be more specific and more objective.

        • Lucky, it’s not belittling Rafa’s achievements to say the vast majority of them have come on clay. That’s just stating a fact, which anyone with half a brain can recognize. Nadal is, far and away, the best ever player on clay.

          Federer, on the other hand, is clearly the better player on all other surfaces. At least, that’s so if we measure according to overall performance in the biggest tournaments. I’ve spelt it out before, and to my knowledge no one has disagreed. So I won’t do it again.

          • Joe, it’s not just that, it’s the underlying tone of their comments that’s the problem! Perhaps you should visit the other forums, and see how nasty those people are!

            It’s as if clay doesn’t count, that’s the issue, not about winning on clay per se. Its not difficult to see that, anyone with half a brain could see that!

            • lucky, those people are not Fed Fans for real. Not at all. A real tennis fan (no matter whose player) knows what respect is, that’s the fundamental value of any most sports, especially tennis. Also a real sports fan, can differentiate between facts and manipulative information. And he has integrity. Overall, all those put together can only make one feel amazed by Rafa’s achievements, especially on clay.

            • Well, I don’t visit any other sites other that the official ATP site. From what I can tell on there, there are nasty and in-civil comments on both sides.

              For what it’s worth, I think clay counts just as much as any other surface. I think Nadal’s extraordinary achievements on clay (along with his impressive achievements off clay) put him into the conversation for greatest player ever.

              I also think that if his clay achievements were at the same level as his non-clay achievements (for instance, if he was only as good on clay as his second-best surface, outdoor hard court), then he wouldn’t be in that conversation (because he’d have a total of 8 slams, along with another 8-9 masters; obviously very impressive but not GOAT-worthy).

              And, most obviously, if his non-clay resume were as impressive as his clay resume, there would be no GOAT conversation, because he would clearly be it.

          • Joe, I wasn’t even talking about Goat!

            Many Fed fans are eager to pronounce Fed as the greatest, but what if Djoko for example wins a few more slams, like one or two more FOs and one or two more Wimbledon, making his slam portfolio more balanced than Fed’s – 8 HC, 3 Clay and 5 grass court slams, don’t you find his portfolio more impressive as he’s able to win multiple slams on any surface?

            Fed could only win one slam on his worst surface, so for me Djoko will be more impressive if he gets those numbers in future. It’s too early to pronounce anyone greatest ( not goat imo, but greatest of the era), if people are so obsessed with anointing anyone as greatest.

            Or if Rafa gets two more AO, one more of Wimbledon and USO each, making his slam portfolio 6 HC, 10 clay and 3 grass court slams, won’t his portfolio looks more balanced than Fed’s too?

            Why is Fed’s slams considered more balance when he only manages one slam on his worse surface? I would think it’s more likely for Djoko to win another FO and at least one of any other slam than Fed to win one more FO.

            • I think most of the Fed fans who talk down Rafa’s achievements do so in the context of a GOAT conversation; otherwise I don’t think they’d care much.

              Why is Fed’s record more balanced? Because he has a great clay record! It’s just that he’s lost so many times to Rafa on clay (both at RG and in masters) that it gets lost that Roger is arguably the second best clay player (either him or Novak) of this era.

              If Rafa and/or Novak racks up more GS titles, then of course things could change. At this point, however, it’s not clear that they will win more slams going forward than Roger will, the age difference notwithstanding.

        • Lucky, I observed that nny usde the term ‘a fed fan’ that’s why I didn’t leave a reply to her. Her messages are balanced and rarely you can argue. In the previous post I was reffering strictly to nadline’s comment.

  11. I’m wondering why Cilic didn’t get a pain killing injection before the match since he knew he had a blister. I know from his book that Rafa got one in the sole of his left foot before the 2008 Wimbly final for “a blister and a swelling” around one of his metatarsals. Also in 2011 his foot was partially numbed during his matches due to a partial tendon tear incurred during his match with DelPo.

    • Ramara, Cilic probably did. He said he tried (or rather the doctors tried) everything possible. Maybe Rafa’s threshold for pain is higher and he’s one guy who can stay focused at the job on hand better than most people.

      Cilic probably couldnt focus like Rafa and mentally ‘burdened’ by the fact that he had a foot blister. It might be something psychological that led him to believe as the match progressed, that his foot blister got worse. Who knows? Cilic is not known to be mentally tough, unlike Rafa.

    • I did not see Cilic moving badly. I did see Cilic hopping around for the whole match and looked more nervous than injured. I did see him doing a lot of serve and volley. In simple and plain terms, he lied that blisters pain was so bad that he just could not play his natural game. His post match speech was worst where did not even congratulate Fed and took the whole direction of conversation to his blisters.

      Sometimes, its a foregone conclusion that Fed, Nadal and Djoker will be physically 100% all the time in every match. But they win those matches as well where they are less than 80%.

    • At last it’s beginning to dawn on people that Fed really is boring. I heard someone on the radio describe his match against Dimi as a yawn-fest.

      • Such a subjective statement. There are millions who would disagree with that statement. And I’m willing to bet more people think Nadal is boring to watch than Fed.

          • For Fed fans Rafa is boring, for Rafa fans Fed is boring. Fed has more fans than Rafa so the majority wins. For neutral fans both RG and Wimby this year was boring as one was heavy favourite before entering the tournament and he goes on to win without even dropping a set, at least in case of Wimby the possibility of upsets were more and there were upsets so there was a hope to watch Wimby though at the end it turned out the same like RG.
            If we only talk about the finals then more or else it’s the same, Fed fans and neutral fans knew what would be the likely outcome but Rafa fans were hoping with the past statistics to expect an upset. Same with the RG with Fed fans expecting an upset. Even though I’m a Fed fan and like Wimby the most out of all grand slams but still I enjoyed AO compared to Wimby. I always wants Fed to win whatever he plays and also to win it comfortably and in that sense whatever I expected it happened the same in Wimby but then if everything what you expect if the same happens then there is no fun in watching.
            I know Rafa fans will not agree when someone says RG was not interesting because they will enjoy their man winning his favourite slam but the same is true for Fed fans as well.

          • Wait a sec never mind you’re right most wouldn’t think Rafa is boring to watch FOR SURE. I find Rafa very exciting to watch and I’m a Fed fan.

            • Actually no one is boring, everyone has their own skills and tennis as a whole requires many skills to finally win a match. If someone develops his serve skills like Karlovic that doesn’t make him boring maybe for us it’s boring but for someone who is interested in these kind of game he will still find it interesting. Why I took this topic because someone mentioned that Fed game is boring just because they don’t like Fed. They simply wants to demean Fed’s victory.
              I only find it boring when someone is not giving his best even if he is Fed because there is kind of a disappointment because you always know the match could have been better and because someone is not giving his best so you don’t feel like watching it anymore.

          • It’s getting rather boring reading this type of comment.
            Very few players I find boring,even the Samprases and Karlovics.

  12. You said it was probably Fedfans found Nadal boring,not all of them do !
    Other example would be Borg-Mcenroe. I loved Borg,didn’t like Mac,but he had a much more watchable game .

    • Big Al, care to read my post again? I was responding to Benny’s post, who said that he bet there are more people who find Nadal boring to watch than Fed.

      Why didn’t you pick that up in the first place. And, didn’t Ai say MOST Fed fans, not ALL Fed fans? See the difference?

  13. Well,’most’ could be anywhere between 50 and 100 percent.I don’t know where you get your information .I can only speak for myself,I don’t find Nadal boring .

    • Big Al, could you respond to Benny please, on why he think more people find Nadal boring??

      Most is < 100%, so don't know why you mentioned 'not all of them' when in the first place I didn't even say 'All' of them! And you don't find Nadal boring ( thank you because I'm a Rafa fan!), but how do you know that among the Fed fans, you are in the majority or minority who think so? And where did you find your info too, to support your case?

      • What’s my case? I said I can only speak for myself,I never claimed to have the information.

        Bennys opinion was that more people would find Nadal boring compared with Federer.Highly subjective.I don’t agree or disagree.

        I was just taking issue with your suggestion that such people are most probably Fedfans,almost by definition.
        What about non-tennis fans who watch maybe two finals a year? A lot of them are going to be more objective ,since they aren’t a fan of either.
        Why don’t we do a poll on who is more boring?

        • Big Al, do you represent all Fed fans? How do you know whether most Fed fans don’t find Rafa boring??? And I said PROBABLY those who find Rafa boring are mostly the Fed fans, unless you’re going to tell me for sure that non Fed fans also find Rafa boring.

          • Luckystar,agree there’s no way of knowing for sure.
            At least you admit it was a bit of a sweeping generalisation.Some truth in both sides of the equation.

            • Exactly, I was responding to Benny, who said that he bet there are more people who find Nadal boring, more than they find Fed boring.

              My response is, they are mostly the Fed fans, (I said most Fed fans, because given their respective fan base, Nadal’s is also a very big fan base, and so it’ll take most of Fed fans to find Nadal boring, to outnumber the Nadal fans). We do not know the neutral fans are finding Nadal boring or not, even though many may assume that most of the neutral fans don’t find Fed boring.

            • There’s two meanings there.

              Most of Fedfans find Nadal boring

              Most of who find Nadal boring are Fedfans.
              The second one sounds much better, as you say,no way of knowing about the non-fans.

            • Big AL, you have to read and respond in the context of Benny’s claim (hence the response is your point no. 1)

              If it’s just a general statement, that Nadal is boring to watch, then the response is your point no. 2.

              Anyway, it’s just a pointless debate, don’t see the need to continue with it.

  14. It’s a testament to Roger’s dominance that extreme fans of other players find him boring at Wimbledon (no different than Nadal at the French Open). The boredom stems from knowing “the enemy” will win before the first ball is struck.

    As fans of the sport, not just one player, we are capable of appreciating the brilliance of the big four, as well as the rest of the tour.

    Those that can’t are victims of their own fandom that blind them from the beauty of the sport itself leading to these endless circular so-called “debates” pitting ever-hardening echo chambers against each other leading nowhere other than to preach to their own respective choirs in endless futility – extreme fan groups hating on each other, while the players themselves showing virtually zero animosity towards one another. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

    Anyone that can’t appreciate both what Nadal accomplished with ten French titles and what Roger is doing at 36 years old needs to have a long, hard look in the mirror.

    abhirf, the low ratings at both the French Open and Wimbledon are based on the American audiences – that US interest in tennis continues to fade to black year after year is old news, especially with men’s tennis because the American audience is only interested in their own and they’ve had no great champion to back since Agassi.

  15. I think it’s the American audiences who lost interest in tennis! I mean the last two years FO finals, between two of big four, and one of big four plus Stan, were still having poor ratings! I’m not surprised that the ratings of the Wimbledon finals suffered the same fate with the American audiences.

    • One should also realize that historically low television ratings are not unique to tennis or US audiences.

      Television ratings as a whole pretty much worldwide for all programming tumbles year after year as technology continues to provide new alternatives to entertainment such as streaming, gaming and social media.

      Traditional television ratings are not a good indication of player interest but it’s just more of the same – people reading what they want when it suits their argument, and equally dismissing what doesn’t.

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