Roger Federer breaks another record, becoming the player with the most amount of Grand Slam match wins, another notch in his extensive belt, with his quarterfinal win over Marin Cilic. In contrast, this was Cilic’s first Grand Slam match loss after being two sets up.
Could this be Roger’s chance to clinch his 18th Grand Slam title? It’s not a long shot to assume that Federer’s determination to pull through, even when not playing his best, was inspired by Djokovic’s 3rd round exit. While the first two sets were gone in a flash, and Federer seemed out of place in front of Cilic’s lightning fast serves, the third set showed that Federer wasn’t about to go down without a fight, even if he wasn’t at his best.
The fourth set tiebreaker had too many first serve errors from Roger, not to mention a short forehand approach in the net at 6-4, when the forehand mid court ball is supposed to be something Federer can execute in his sleep (I was literally hiding behind a pillow, screaming insults and praying to God, even though you have to give it to Cilic for fighting against not only Roger but the crowd). But somehow, through luck and some extensive defense and slicing, Roger pulled through to make it two sets all.
Poor Cilic wasn’t exactly bombarded with ‘boos’ while he was up two sets to love, but let’s just say that compared to the crowd’s reaction when Federer won a point, Cilic’s crowd support was a mere whisper. As the match went on, and the spectators began to feel the energy that comes with a two sets to love comeback, Cilic was left to clap for himself. Down a break 5-3 in the fifth set because of a forehand just wide, you could see the lights flicker in Cilic’s eyes, and it seemed that even he had excepted the inevitable, that Roger wasn’t going anywhere except to the semifinals.
A final ace sealed the match in classic Federer finesse.
Will Roger take advantage of Djokovic’s early exit and show that age and injury are not going to slow him down? We’ll just have to wait and see.