US Open: Marin Cilic outplayed Roger Federer for 1st major final - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

US Open: Marin Cilic outplayed Roger Federer for 1st major final

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS US OPEN – In a continuation of an epic day of upset men’s semifinal, Marin Cilic not only beat Roger Federer for the first time, he crushed him in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-4 for his first major final. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

Goran Ivanisevic: “You saw everything. It was the best match of his life”

The tennis world barely got over the shock of world’s number 1 Novak Djokovic being dismissed in 4 sets by Kei Nishikori (10) before it had to face another startling reality; Roger Federer (2) was summarily dismissed from the tournament in straight sets by Marin Cilic (14) 6-3 6-4 6-4. This is almost like tennis Armageddon; both top men’s seeds beaten on the same day in emphatic fashion by two players not even officially ranked in the top 10. Surely when Djokovic went out, it could not be possible that Federer would exit on the same day, having not made the finals. Coming into this match, Federer was 5-0 lifetime against Cilic. In fact, he beat several weeks ago en route to the Montreal final. Yet in this match, Federer hardly looked like he had a clue as to what was going on as Cilic was as he said, “[F]irst point to the last, I was absolutely playing the best tennis of my life.”

The match was barely on its way before Federer was facing break point having been up 40-0 in the game. Cilic was able to secure the early break and with that, complete control of the match. Cilic closed out the set 6-3. In the 2nd set, Cilic continued with his great form as he broke Federer early for a 2-0 lead. Federer never saw a break point chance in the set as Cilic continued to be dominant. Cilic on his 10th ace, took the set and a 2-0 sets lead. This lead was unassailable and even Federer knew this as he would later state, “I wasn’t as confident this time around because Marin played more aggressive … I knew probably this comeback would be tougher just because of the risk he was taking and … how big he was serving.”

In the 3rd set, Federer started it off well with a break of Cilic’s serve for the first time in the match. However, he was broken immediately after to get back on serve. Cilic then broke Federer again in the 7th game to lead 5-3 after consolidating the break. Federer was able to hold serve comfortably for the first time to force Cilic to serve for the match. Cilic completed the task in spectacular fashion. He served three consecutive aces to bring up triple match point and then hit a backhand winner for the match win, 6-3 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 45 minutes.

The real measure of this match was the completeness to Cilic’s game, on both his serve and his return. He was doing everything right. He won 87% of his 1st serve points and 56% on his 2nd serve compared to Federer who was only winning 71% on his 1st serve and 48% on his 2nd serve. “I felt today the return was extremely good, especially on the second serve and that, you know, opened up many more opportunities for me,” Cilic said. This was very much the case. He broke Federer four times in the match compared to Federer who did it once and only saw two break point chances. Federer did not necessarily play a bad game, he was simply outplayed and outmatched. He had 6 less errors than Cilic for the match, 17 to 23 but Cilic had 43 winners compared to the 28 from Federer. “I think him playing with the lead he played with, you know, no fear and just full-out confidence … It was just like full swing from all sides … No holding back from his side. I just couldn’t hang with him for long enough to create some doubts in his mind,” Federer said after the match.

This is the first time since 2005 Australian Open men’s final that neither Federer, Djokovic, Andy Murray nor Rafael Nadal has made the final of a major event. “[I]t’s interesting situation, you know, where you have two players who have never been in a Grand Slam final before and in a way they have nothing to lose,” Federer said. Cilic also spoke on this matter, “[I]t’s a bit of a changeup year considering all the past years that these top four guys were making it to the final. Wawrinka opened the doors for us from the “second” line and I think most of us guys have now bigger belief that they can do it on the Grand Slams.”

Nishikori is 5-2 lifetime against Cilic and interestingly enough, they played at the US Open twice in the past and they each won one of the matches. Cilic spoke of the matchup, “[W]e have both different game styles … [H]e hits the ball extremely well from the back of the court. I think I’m going to have to just focus on my game to break that a little bit of rhythm and to try to serve well.”

ATP

ATP Montreal: Ruud Thrashes Auger-Aliassime To Reach Semis, Mixed Results For Brits

Casper Ruud eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a semi-final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in Montreal.

Avatar

Published

on

Casper Ruud (@OBNmontreal - Twitter)

Casper Ruud only dropped three games against Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the semi-finals in Montreal.

 

The Norwegian is into the semi-finals in Canada after a dominant performance over home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Ruud dominated from the start of the match as he produced a sublime performance only committing nine unforced errors throughout the match to reach the last four.

Ruud has had a good season on hard courts this season and is looking to make his second consecutive hard court Masters 1000 final after reaching the final in Miami.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted he got a bit lucky but is happy to be in the last four in Canada, “It was one of those days where everything goes in one favour and luckily it was in my favour,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“With a player like Felix, you need to rely on some margins going your way. I didn’t expect them to all go on my side. It was a bit of a difficult start. I got broken but then was able to turn everything around. I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well.

“The last hard-court tournament I played in was in Miami where I reached the final. I wanted to make a deep run here. I didn’t think it was too likely, being the first hard-court tournament back, but I have been playing great from the first point in the first match.”

Ruud will look to claim his first Masters 1000 title this week and rise to four in the world in the ATP rankings.

Next for Ruud is the only Masters 1000 champion left in the draw in the form of Hubert Hurkacz.

Hurkacz defeated the in-form Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Canada.

The eighth seed produced some big-serving and bold decision making as he reached his first semi-final since winning the Halle title.

Heading into their match, Ruud leads the head-to-head 1-0 where the Norwegian was victorious at Roland Garros this year.

Mixed results for British hopefuls

Meanwhile it was a mixed night for British players as Dan Evans reached his second career Masters 1000 semi-final while Jack Draper exited the tournament in the last eight.

Evans defeated Tommy Paul 1-6 6-3 6-4 to reach a landmark moment in his career in Montreal.

After his win Evans described the win as ‘extra special’ as he looks forward to a semi-final meeting with Pablo Carreno Busta, “The crowd, that’s what they buy their tickets for. That’s live sport,” Evans told the ATP website.

“You never know what’s going to happen. It was an amazing match, amazing atmosphere. I played on the court before. In the day it was amazing, but at night, there’s something about playing sport at night, it’s extra special.”

Evans will now play Carreno Busta in the last four after the Spaniard defeated British qualifier Jack Draper 7-6(4) 6-1.

Draper defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the week but was no match for the resilient Spaniard.

Saturday’s semi-final will be the first meeting between Evans and Carreno Busta.

Continue Reading

ATP

Canada Daily Preview: Semifinal Saturday Features Ruud/Hurkacz and Pegula/Halep

Avatar

Published

on

Simona Halep on Friday in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The singles and doubles semifinals will be played on Saturday in Canada.  In Montreal, a new men’s singles champion will be crowned, and Hubi Hurkacz is the only semifinalist to have previously won a Masters 1000 event (Miami, 2021).  Hurkacz is also in the doubles semifinals, so it will be a busy day for Hubi.  In singles, he faces a finalist from this year in Miami, Casper Ruud.

 

In Toronto, Simona Halep is the only former champion remaining, and is two wins away from her third title at this event.  On Saturday, she plays Jessica Pegula, who is into the semifinals in Canada for the second straight year.  Like Hurkacz, Pegula is also in the doubles semifinals.  She’s teaming with Coco Gauff, who will become the new doubles No.1 if they win the title.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Hurkacz ended the winning streak of Nick Kyrgios on Friday, taking him out in three sets for the second time this season.  But Ruud was even more impressive on Friday, bouncing back from a marathon victory on Thursday over Roberto Bautista Agut to overwhelm Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, dropping only three games.  Predominantly known as a clay court player, Casper is also establishing himself as a considerable threat on hard courts.  That’s especially true in North America, where Ruud has claimed 16 of his last 19 matches.  But Hubi’s success on this surface remains superior, as does his serving prowess.  While Ruud prevailed in their only previous encounter, just a few months ago at Roland Garros, Hurkacz is the favorite on a hard court.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Halep has been dominant through four rounds this week, advancing without the loss of a set.  Simona has quietly put together a strong record of 36-10 this season, though she’s yet to achieve a big result, with only one title at the 250 level at the start of the year.  Pegula only dropped one set this week, to defending champion Camila Giorgi.  And similar to Halep, she’s accumulated a solid record this year (29-14) without winning a title.  This will be the first career meeting between these two players.  Considering Halep is now 25-6 lifetime at this event, and the way in which she has easily prevailed all week, her superior movement and defense should be enough to reach her fourth final in Canada.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Dan Evans – Carreno Busta has played superbly this week, eliminating the likes of Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini without losing a set to this stage.  Dan Evans has survived two grueling three-setters in as many days.  This is their first career meeting.

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Haddad Maia has earned three big wins across the last three days over Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, and Leylah Fernandez.  Pliskova is looking to reach the Canada final for the second straight year.  They have split two previous encounters, both on hard courts.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

Canada Daily Preview: Quarterfinal Friday in Montreal and Toronto

Avatar

Published

on

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Canadian No.1 Felix Auger-Aliassime has thrilled crowds in his home country on back-to-back days in Montreal.  On Friday, he faces Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud, who outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in a marathon match that went well over three hours.  Other ATP action in Montreal includes Washington champion Nick Kyrgios taking on Halle champ Hubi Hurkacz in a rematch from the Halle semifinals.

 

Coco Gauff has survived two extremely dramatic affairs in as many days, ousting both Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka in third-set tiebreaks.  In the quarterfinals, she plays a two-time champion of this event, Simona Halep.  Toronto’s matches on Friday also feature Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova, both of whom reached the semifinals or better of this tournament a year ago.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Coco Gauff (10) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Gauff spent exactly six hours on court during the heat of the early afternoon, in two physically and emotionally taxing matches.  By contrast, Halep spent less than half that time on court across those two days, and is yet to drop a set this week.  And their three previous encounters have all been straight-set victories for Simona.  She prevailed on grass three years ago at Wimbledon, on a hard court this year at Indian Wells, and on clay this year in Madrid.  And considering Halep will be the far fresher player on Friday, there’s not much evidence to suggest a different result in her fourth meeting with Coco.


Casper Ruud (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

What will Ruud have left after a three-set match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours?  Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time on Thursday, avenging a loss from less than a week ago in the Los Cabos semifinals over Cam Norrie.  Casper and Felix have split four previous meetings at all levels: two at Challenger events, and two at Masters 1000 events such as this.  Three years ago in Miami on a hard court, Auger-Aliassime won in three sets.  Last year in Madrid on clay, Ruud prevailed in straights.  Accordingly, a hard court would seem to favor Felix, especially considering his superior serving abilities.  Most of Casper’s big results have come on clay, though he did reach the final of Miami earlier this year.  I expected the Canadian to play nervously at this event, as Auger-Aliassime was only 3-3 lifetime here ahead of this week, and had lost four of his last six matches since June.  But Felix has embraced the spotlight of playing in front of a packed Canadian stadium, and should be favored over a depleted Ruud on Friday.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Nick Kyrgios vs. Hubert Hurkacz (8) – Between singles and doubles, Kyrgios is 13-0 over the last 10 days.  Hurkacz saved a match point on Thursday, eventually defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier this year in Halle when he played Nick, Hubi also prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Qinwen Zheng – Both players were victorious after tough three-setters on Thursday: Pliskova over Maria Sakkari and Qinwen over Bianca Andreescu.  This is their first career meeting.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending