Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic Wimbledon tennis Final: The best quotes from Federer and Cilic ahead of Sunday's final

Leye Aduloju in Wimbledon 16 Jul 2017
  • Roger Federer and Marin Cilic meet in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, 16 July from 2:00pm BST
  • Federer says Sunday's final will be a close match
  • Cilic is sounding confident ahead of his first Wimbledon final
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Wimbledon at bet365 > live streaming > tennis
Roger Federer. (Photo by FLORIAN EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

As we countdown to the Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic, we check out what the two men have been saying to get an idea of just what may be going through their minds ahead of Sunday’s big battle.

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When the draw was made, Federer was projected to play Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, and either Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal in the final. However, Federer’s ‘Big Four’ partners have all fallen by the way side, leaving the Swiss with Marin Cilic as the last men standing at the All England Club. 

So, does Federer see an advantage in playing Cilic, rather than say, Rafa in a Wimbledon final?

“I don't want to say it's more relaxed going into it because I have a good head-to-head record against Marin, even though the matches were extremely close. But it's not like we've played against each other 30 times. You feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. It's a nice change, but it doesn't make things easier, in my opinion.”

Federer spoke about his favourable head-to-head against Cilic, which stands at 6-1, but that ‘1’ was a very significant win in the semi-finals of the US Open in 2014 when the great Federer was hit out of Flushing Meadows by the powerful Croat. The Swiss remembers that match vividly.

“It puts all the other great performances against me to shame,” reflected Federer. "I thought he played very well. He was clocking returns and serves at will. He was doing a great job. He was confident and feeling it and seeing it. It was definitely very, very impressive.”



So, how does Federer intend to counter the genuine threats posed by this big-hitting Croatian?

"I have to play offensive. If you give Marin now time on the ball, he can finish points nicely. The court is still playing quite fast. It helps on my serve, but it also helps him. I'm sure it's going to be a close match."

That wonderful aggressive tennis has propelled Federer to a 13-match winning streak in Grand Slams- and Cilic, like the rest of the world (most of us, anyway), has been watching with admiration. But he says, he is ready.

"I still know that it's a big mountain to climb,” said Cilic. “Roger is playing maybe some of his best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it's going to be a huge challenge. But I believe I'm ready."

If you believe everything you read, you’d expect Federer to stroll through this final. 

Marin Cilic. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

But the Croatian does present a compelling case. He has won more matches on grass than anyone else this season following strong runs in s-Hertogenbosch, Queen’s and now Wimbledon; he has thrashed Federer in a Slam semi-final in the past, and he held a two-set lead, and had three match points in last year’s quarter final against the Swiss before bowing in five. This is an improved version of Cilic, who comes in with bags of confidence, and will not be overawed by the challenge of taking on Federer.

"I would say that I'm now in a little bit of a better form, maybe just slightly mentally stronger, maybe learned a few more lessons, valuable lessons," said Cilic. "I'm believing that I have the ability and that I have a good game and I played really well during the tournament. That is obviously very important in giving me a lot of confidence to prepare for this final."

Another common theme from the thoughts of both finalists is the admission to being nervous before the final. For a man who has played ten finals, and won seven of them, you would think Federer should already used to the stage by now, but he says the nerves will remain there when he steps onto Centre Court to face Cilic on Sunday.

“Sometimes it slows down your legs, your pulse starts racing, your head starts -- not spinning, in the sense that you have a million ideas, but you have to take the right one. That can stress you out a tad,” he admitted. “But I always say I'm happy I feel that way because it means I care. It's not like I’m going through the motions. That would be a horrible feeling.”

Cilic echoed the similar lines:

It's never easy to deal with it. You never know how your emotions are going to be when you enter that Centre Court.

Should Cilic control those emotions and go on to claim an unlikely title, just how much would it mean to the Croatian?

“It would absolutely mean the world to me,” said Cilic. “When I won the US Open, it opened so many possibilities in my mind for the rest of my career. To be able to do it again would mean even more because I know how much it meant for me to win that first one. It would be a dream come true to win Wimbledon.”

Problem is Roger Federer, who has created and realized many dreams at the All England Club selfishly wants more, and when Roger wants something on Centre Court, he almost always gets it.

“It’s a big deal for me to make history here,” he continued. “I love this tournament. All my dreams have come true here as a player. To have another chance to go for number eight and be so close is a great feeling.”

So will Federer get a historic number eight, or will Cilic get number one?

Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic is live from Wimbledon on Sunday, 16 July from 2:00pm local time/ 2:00pm BST



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Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic Wimbledon tennis Final: The best quotes from Federer and Cilic ahead of Sunday's final

As Roger Federer and Marin Cilic prepare for battle, we check out what they have both been saying ahead of Sunday's big final.

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