Cilic is through to his second Grand Slam final of his career where he’ll face Roger Federer. Let’s take a look at how he got here.
R1: Phillip Kolschreiber
In one of the toughest opening matches of the tournament, Cilic made it look easy as he coasted past the German 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. It was a dazzling performance, and it cemented the belief that the Croat had the chance to make a deep run here at Wimbledon. With his massive serve and booming groundstrokes, Cilic put the German in his place and advanced to the second round.
R2: Florian Mayer
Another relatively tough matchup, another pretty straightforward win. Florian Mayer, last year’s Halle champion, was no match for Cilic as the Croatian’s big serve helped him win 7-6(2), 6-4, 7-5. While it may not look so pretty on paper, the tiebreaker wasn’t close, and close sets are to be expected from a big server like Cilic. Onwards to the third round!
R3: Steve Johnson
Cilic did not let up, emerging victorious yet again in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4. His serve powered him through once again, and the American was not short of emotion, showing tears for most of the final set. It’s been a tough couple of months for Johnson, who recently lost his father prior to Roland Garros. Let’s move on.
R4: Roberto Bautista Agut
Just a couple of weeks after losing to Nadal in the fourth round of the French Open, Bautista Agut was unable to get past Cilic’s booming serve, succumbing yet again in the fourth round 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. This was definitely Cilic’s strongest performance as the Croat left Agut with no options. His forehand was on point, and he simply overpowered the Spaniard.
QF: Giles Muller
In Cilic’s toughest match of the tournament so far, he scraped past fellow big server Giles Muller en route to his first Wimbledon semifinal. Muller displayed great fight and grit, especially considering he had played a grueling five-setter just two days before against Nadal, winning the fifth 15-13. It was even up until the decider, both players struggling to break the other’s serve, but Muller didn’t have enough left in the tank as the Croat emerged victorious 3-6, 7-6(8), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.
SF: Sam Querrey
American hopes were dashed after Cilic defeated Querrey in four sets. It was bound to be a game of who could break first, both players being big hitters and having powerful serves. It started off great for the American after Querrey won the first set tiebreaker 7-6(8), coming from behind to make an impressive comeback. It wasn’t so good for Querrey afterwards as Cilic won the next three sets by scores of 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-3. Querrey had multiple opportunities to claim the fourth set after being up a break, but he was unable to convert on his chances.
It’s been a pretty impressive run from Cilic, only losing three sets the entire tournament. If he can serve well, he’ll be able to put pressure on Roger, and we may just see a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals, this time with a different outcome. Alas, we won’t really know until the final.