London | Federer makes a clean sweep of his matches
Roger Federer came back to defeat Marin Cilic 6-7(5) 6-4 6-1 in a repeat of their Wimbledon final.
Federer had already booked his last-four berth for the 14th time at the O2 and Cilic knew he would not progess going in having lost his first two matches.
And it looked as though the fifth-seeded Croatian might be on the road to avenge his All England Club loss which signalled the Swiss master becoming the first winner of eight men’s singles titles in London SW19.
Cilic, whose meeting with Federer at Wimbledon was hampered by a blister, edged in front.
I was slightly over aggressive in the first set on some crucial points rather than maybe being patient. I was able to turn that around late in the second set. Then just had a much better feeling in the third set. Roger Federer
But second-seed Federer managed to level before sailing home as his opponent crumbled.
Federer, 36, “It wasn’t easy. It’s a fast court. It’s indoors. We’ve seen it when you miss a few too many opportunities, you can really pay the price at this tournament. So we’ve seen some swing of momentums in a lot of the matches this week.
“I was slightly over aggressive in the first set on some crucial points rather than maybe being patient. I was able to turn that around late in the second set. Then just had a much better feeling in the third set. Maybe also Marin’s level dropped, I’m not sure. But definitely it was dangerous there for a while, being down a set and breakpoints beginning of the second set.”
Cilic, although his visit ended 0-3, was encouraged.
He said: “Today was solid match. That’s what I went to go out to play, try to play another good match. Obviously it’s a little bit more difficult mentally knowing that I had two losses. That I’m not going to be able to go through. But still, it was a very solid match from me.
“I played those first two sets a really good level. Even had a breakpoint there early in the second. I think overall with my game I was quite satisfied, played good tennis. Just in the third set I felt like I dropped little bit with my serving percentage.
“Once Roger got the break, he was playing little bit looser, played well. But even though it’s three losses, I felt that my tennis wasn’t too far off of playing really, really well. It’s good positives at least in that. Hopefully I’m going to recover good and start a new season on a good level.”