Saturday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre features the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles in the 2014 US Open.
Roger Federer will be there after saving match points against Gael Monfils in the quarters, while Marin Cilic will be the man to face him after the Croat foiled my wager on Tomas Berdych.
In reality it was more Berdych foiling himself in a dismal quarter-final display full of awful serving, shaky ground strokes and a misguided rant against the umpire.
There’s a good chance that play will be interrupted at some point on Saturday if the weather forecast is correct, as the thunder and rain is set to return to Flushing Meadows.
Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic
The Swiss had to come back from two sets behind against Lamonf on Thursday and will probably be glad of the day off on Friday after a three-hour plus battle with the Frenchman.
And it could have been all over for Roger had Monfils taken either of his match points at *4-5 15-40 in the fourth set, but Federer held strong and there was only going to be one winner in the fifth after that.
Cilic was somewhere near his best – certainly on serve – against Berdych, but he didn’t have to beat much, as the Czech only started to play in the third set and by then it was all too late.
This will be the sixth meeting between Federer and Cilic and their most recent one was just a few weeks back in Toronto on hard courts when the Swiss edged a tight one in a decider after blowing a lot of match points.
That’s the closest that Cilic has ever come to beating the Swiss maestro, although he did take a set when they met here in New York in the third round back in 2011.
There’s no reason why he can’t do that again on Saturday in his first major semi-final since losing in four sets to Andy Murray at the Australian Open in 2010.
Since linking up with Goran Ivanisevic on a full time basis at the end of last season the immediately noticeable thing that I’ve mentioned a few times was the improvement in Cilic’s serve and that was key against Berdych.
I didn’t think he’d be solid enough off the ground over five sets on a hard court to beat the Czech even with the serve firing and he perhaps wouldn’t have been had Berdych not had a shocker.
But this will be a different kind of test for Cilic, with Federer deploying his all court game to get past Monfils on Thursday and winning 53 of 74 points up at net against the Frenchman.
By way of contrast, Berdych came to the net just 11 times against Cilic – and one of those was to fruitlessly argue over a double bounce.
So, Federer has more ways to win matches if one facet of his game isn’t working and the one-dimensional Cilic even serving great won’t be able to take more than a set or maybe two here at best.
Monfils kept Federer on his toes with plenty of variety as well as powerfully struck ground strokes and I don’t see that kind of game in Cilic, who will probably play Roger into form with his baseline style.
I can see the Croatian having enough to take a set at his best and Federer is unlikely to be as poor from the back as he was against Lamonf, so I quite like the idea of the 3.75 about a 3-1 Federer win here.
Roger’s record in major semi finals has certainly tailed off lately, with five defeats in his last seven, but he’s never lost one to a player ranked outside the top-five in the world and I doubt he will on Saturday.
Back Federer to beat Cilic 3-1 at 3.75