London: The Wimbledon men’s final this Sunday pits the tennis player who has won the most titles on grass, Switzerland’s Roger Federer with 18, against the one with the highest percentage of wins on grass courts this year, Croatian Marin Cilic with 12 victories and just two losses.
Federer, winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, comes on as the big favourite in his 29th final in that category against the winner of the 2014 US Open. Not only that, but the Basel native reached the final without losing a single set in the last two weeks — just as he did at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2008, reports Efe.
At age 35 and 342 days, Federer seems rejuvenated every time he sets foot on the turf at the All England Club. His string of quick victories in the playoffs has been phenomenal. Winning the final would be his eighth Wimbledon title and his 18th Grand Slam, records in both categories.
This season Federer has won four tournaments — the Australian Open, the Masters 1,000 at Indian Wells and Miami, and the Halle Open for the ninth time.
Cilic is the first Croatian to reach the Wimbledon final since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, and so far in the tourney has racked up 130 aces compared with 64 by Switzerland’s best.
Sunday will be the eighth time they have played each other, and the second consecutive at Wimbledon, with the record standing at 6-1 in favour of Federer.
Federer won the first five matches, until Cilic beat him in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open, where the Croatian went on to take his only major title.
A victory will make Federer No. 1 in the world, his best ranking since August 2016. And if Cilic comes out on top, the Croatian will be No. 5, ahead of Federer.
For the Croatian, this Wimbledon could be historic, because if he wins, he will be the first player outside the Big Four (Andy Murray, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Federer) to take the title since 2002. (IANS)