Welcome to my preview for the men’s final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic
First of all, I’d like to thank the gang at The Profits for having me back for another Grand Slam. It has been an absolute pleasure to cover it once again in quite a bit of detail, and a big thank you to everyone who has interacted on twitter over the last month. It is certainly the most “active” my twitter has ever been in terms of questions/replies, and it is really great to see so many people enjoy the sport that I love to watch. What has amazed me is the number of questions/comments about not only the Australian Open, but smaller tournaments and Challenger tournaments. It is great seeing so many people enjoying tennis at all levels, and I hope it continues.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on Twitter (@Ace_TheProfits)
Roger federer vs marin cilic
Here we have it, the men’s final for 2018. It has been a wild fortnight, and I wonder if the men’s final can live up to the women’s final of last night. Can Roger Federer win Grand Slam number 20, or will Cilic rain on his parade?
Let’s take a look at the road to the final for both players, and see if we can come up with a play on the match.
For those of you following from earlier this fortnight, the first part of this paragraph will look familiar, as I discussed it in the lead up to Cilic vs Nadal in the Quarter Final. After a bit of a scratchy start, where Cilic was a couple of points from a 5th set vs Pospisil, he has been pretty solid overall against some high quality opponents that could have caused quite a bit of trouble in the end. After escaping Pospisil, Cilic was clinical against Joao Sousa, losing only 5 points on serve on his way to a 6-1 7-5 6-2 victory. From there, the confidence improved further with a straight sets win over Ryan Harrison 7-6 6-3 7-6, only dropping serve once throughout the match. Cilic certainly didn’t have it all his own way with the 4th round, when Carreno Busta actually served for a 2 sets to 1 advantage and 30/15, before reeling off 12 consecutive points from Deuce to not only take the third set TB 7-0, but break early in the 4th set too. Cilic did concede a break back, but managed to get over the line with another commanding tiebreak.
Cilic then found him in a massive fight against Nadal, who unfortunately had to retire after falling down a break in the 5th set. Cilic was pretty impressive in key moments (except for that forehand miss at 5-5 in the third set tiebreak), serving big, as well as placing the ball beautifully out wide when serving to the Deuce court taking Nadal deep out of court. That was arguably the biggest challenge for Cilic, who had no trouble accounting for Kyle Edmund in the semi final, facing 2 break points in the first game and no more for the rest of the match. Cilic is really hitting his spots with a lot of power, and he will need to do it again tonight.
Bedene. Struff. Gasquet. Fucsovics. Berdych. Chung. Had Federer been told that was going to be his path to the final before the tournament, there is no way that he would have believed you. Only two of the players are top 50, and Federer hasn’t dropped a set on route to the final. It has been particularly clinical, but what I have noticed at times is that Federer isn’t quite going for it as much on his first serve at times, opting for more placement than power to set himself up in his points. You can tell that Federer is feeling confident off both the forehand and backhand wing when he is playing like this, and it kind of leads in to the play that I like tonight.
Across the tournament, Federer has served aces on 23.9% of his first serves. Cilic has hit the mark with an ace on 26.2% of his first serves. Now looking at the opponents Federer has faced, he got a bunch of cheap aces against Chung who wasn’t moving well, which has brought that percentage up a touch. Ultimately it will come down to who gets the most first serves into play (last time they met, Federer had 5 more aces, but 18% more first serves in play. Whereas Federer doesn’t rely on his serve as much, and can place the ball moreso to put Cilic out of position and hit with a 1-2 punch, I don’t think Cilic can afford to make that play tonight like he did against Nadal. Federer has too many options on both wins, and as a result, Cilic will really need to go for his first serve. And when you can get $1.95 for Cilic to have more aces than Federer, then I am pretty happy to make a small play on this, whilst enjoying what should be a fantastic final.
My tip for the match? Federer in 4 sets.
2 units Cilic to serve more aces than Federer at $1.95 at TAB ($1.85 Crownbet)