July 4, 2016
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. And Roger Federer was perfectly calm when he remembered what Marin Cilic had done to him at the US Open two years ago.
But the words Federer chose probably told us more than his pleasant, gentlemanly tone.
‘Cilic brushed me aside like I wasn’t there and I want to get him back. He’s a great guy, though,’ Roger observed casually.
Doesn’t sound like Roger will be thinking about how nice Cilic is, or wanting to adopt a casual approach to their quarter-final when the pair meet on Wednesday.
Federer’s 3-6, 4-6, 4-6 defeat to Cilic at Flushing Meadows in the 2014 semi-finals clearly still hurts more than somewhat.
And after another highly impressive performance against Steve Johnson, it seems that Federer might have found the fitness to make Marin pay at last.
Roger’s physical problems are easing by the day, judging by his displays. The decision he took to miss the French Open and save himself for Wimbledon instead appears to have been an excellent one.
The great man couldn’t hide how pleased he is with the way his body is holding up. He even hinted that the demanding Wimbledon schedule is less challenging than some shorter tournaments.
‘At some we venues have to play five days in a row so for any professional sportsman to have a day off between matches is huge.’
Federer began brightly against Johnson and although the final set didn’t always go according to plan, he got the job done with a minimum of fuss.
But even Roger’s 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory wasn’t as easy as Manic Monday turned out to be for Cilic. The Croatian was 6-1, 5-1 ahead and had barely broken sweat when poor Kei Nishikori had to retire due to painful ribs.
The Japanese superstar has had a terrible run of luck at Wimbledon. He always seems to suffer some kind of injury to ruin his grasscourt Slam campaign.
Nishikori held his head in his hands and probably tried to picture happier times ahead. But he faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open – something we often seem to say at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile number three seed Agnieszka Radwanska is out of the women’s singles, having met the extraordinary force of nature that is Dominka Cibulkova.
The Slovakian blew the Pole away in the first set. To her credit, Radwanska regained her composure in the second and met fire with fire.
The match could have gone either way in the third, but Cibulkova’s superior fighting spirit carried the day as she won 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 on her third match point.
Perhaps only Serena Williams can stop her now, although Simona Halep might have a say at the business end of the tournament, having survived a tough match against Madison Keys to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
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