Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

How Marin Cilic Can Spoil Roger Federer's 20th Slam Plan

Federer left with 'bittersweet' feeling after Chung retirement Federer left with 'bittersweet' feeling after Chung retirement
Shannon Reynolds | 27 January, 2018, 01:00

On Thursday, at Melbourne Park, Cilic was asked the same question.

CHANNEL Seven came under heavy fire from fuming fans during Roger Federer and Hyeon Chung's semi-final on Friday night.

"You do take the faster matches whenever you can because there's enough wear and tear on the body", he said. "Unfortunately, with the blister wounds on his toes, I couldn't help crying earlier on", she said.

"I would like to play against the player that I would beat in the final", Cilic said with a smirk. "I think I am performing better when you look at match after match", he said. Unfortunately, though, injury seemed to strike Chung at just about the worst possible time in his breakthrough Grand Slam tournament.

Roger Federer reached the Australian Open final on Friday after Hyeon Chung retired injured, having failed to keep pace with the defending champion.

Somewhere squeezed between the two, is the lost generation of players who should have taken over already but haven't quite managed to do so.

Cilic thinks he is playing more consistently now than he ever has.

Federer's resounding approval of Chung will give the youngster confidence to push on and achieve big things in the coming tournaments.

The 29-year-old, towering Croat has kept his head down and worked to become a worthy competitor.

Federer - who breezed in the first 6-1 - now finds himself in a record seventh Australian Open final and 30th grand slam final overall. Those are the only two Slams won by players outside the "Big 5" since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open. "I know how hard it is to win any major".

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Now, the Basel native has the chance to create more tennis history with an unprecedented 20th Grand Slam title, further proving once and for all that he is the undisputed GOAT (greatest of all time) in men's tennis. He is without a doubt a player to watch for the remainder of the year.

"This is something you sort of plan from a long time ago". "The day after the Djokovic match, he was front page in every single Korean newspaper". If Chung continues on this path, he could soon be Asia's top-ranked player, another milestone in his young career. The rest, we'll see - I don't want to put too much pressure on him. It's comparable to any kind of job. Challenge yourself, push yourself to the limits.

Now, less than a month into the new year, he's going to have to re-evaluate his goals. The game is made that way. He had a similar problem like Chung had in the Wimbledon final. Cilic didn't slow down even if he sprayed a few of them outside the line; his constant aggression was wearing down Nadal.

Cilic had given a glimpse of the depth and damage his shots had, and his court-craft was purposeful and effective.

It was a brutal ending to a brilliant fortnight in which the world No.58 conquered six-time champion Novak Djokovic and fourth seed Alexander Zverev on the way to the final four.

When Chung held serve for 1-1 in the second set, a huge cheer erupted from an Australia Day crowd who had hoped to witness a classic battle of the generations. The Croat faced only two break points in the match, and managed to save both.

"I did right thing".

You'd hope that with the finals next up the network has heard the voices of tennis fans and won't miss any more games due to excessive advertising.

"He's a really nice guy". Yeah, I mean, it ain't just an easy trip to the finals.

Quarter-final: defeated [1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 2-0 ret.

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