Federer really didn't play that badly

By his standards, anyway, which aren't really all that high anymore. He was simply out-played by an extremely aggressive player who was locked in. Cilic always had the potential to be nearly unstoppable - he's 6'6" and moves as if he's about half a foot shorter with incredibly precise footwork, and he has very aggressive ground strokes to go with it. He may not be as big a hitter as Soderling or Rosol or Del Potro, but he moves much better than any of them and is more aggressive/offensive. That's why I always roll my eyes when people call him "boring." He's not boring. A drug cheat, yes. Boring, no. Other than not coming to net, he's the most offensive-minded player on tour. He takes the match out of the opponent's hands...in this case, Roger "Featherer," who is now in all probability the least powerful player in the Top 100.

Add to that Ivanisevic really working hard on helping him improve his serve and on a good day, there's nothing most players can do. Maybe Nishikori has a chance because he's a far better returner than Federer ever was (unless we're talking the 140 MPH bomb servers such as Roddick, Raonic, Isner, and Karlovic). But you're going to beat Cilic, one of two things needs to happen:

1. Cilic has to NOT be dialed in and make errors.
2. You need to be an OUTSTANDING defender.

Neither of which is Federer.
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer has been overrated since Wimbledon (no kidding)

I even read some Federer fans here saying it (I think tennisaddict or i am mixing up with someone else).
he's been really overrated.

At Wimbledon he beat Wawrinka (not a great grass player), and Raonic (good match up)

At Toronto and Cincinnati he beat who? A bad Murray and he beat Ferrer (to whom he lost a set 1-6). He also beat players like Lopez, Monfils, Pospisil.

I didn't get the hype about Federer winning the US open, even with a favorable draw the road was tough for the old man.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Cilic serves like the other big guys that don't have much else (Isner, Raonic, ...) but Cilic has a great 2HBH and quality forehand. His ROS is also better than the other big guys. Cilic's 1st serve is now a major weapon and he has always had a top notch 2nd serve. Cilic is similar to Del Potro but I think he may actually have a much better 2HBH and he moves a bit better. I am picking him to win USO.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
This was a draw he would have been sleep walking through till year 2010.

Federer's serve will not desert him so much in the past. Today he got broken 1 time each in 1st and 2nd and twice in the 3rd. Not happening with Cilic kind of returners in his prime.

That said, this match had lot of similarities with Nadal vs Delpo 2009 semis where Nadal got beaten 2,2 and 2. Delpo was smoking out Nadal whatever he tried.

I do think Fed tried several things on the returns , but Cilic was serving too good that nothing worked. Even when it did, it was only to get to 30 or deuce. The last opportunity came when he broke in the third set to go 2-0 and he did not even hold it in the next game. Only in the third set Cilic's serve percentage went down and there too Fed was not able to capitalize.

With such a redlining Cilic, the only chance that Fed had was to serve bot and he couldn't do that. Cilic won over 90% on first serves and 63% on second. That says something.

Like the OP said, I think Fed didn't play badly at all . Cilic was hitting aces and winners all the time , giving Fed hardly a chance to get into the match.
 

sportsfan1

Hall of Fame
tennisaddict - agree that Cilic played very well, but you still have to blame Fed for not putting Cilic under pressure by converting the break point opportunities or going further up from 15-30 scorelines, often shanking BHs at that point. Cilic was able to get to Fed's BH and draw errors or weak replies easily. It was the well that never dried up for Cilic.
 

TonyB

Hall of Fame
Fed got Rosol'd bigtime.

There's really not much else to say.

Cilic was in the zone practially all day. Federer tried to hang on after the Cilic onslaught on his service games for all three sets, but he couldn't break back.

KN and MC deserve to be in the final. There cannot be any doubt about that. I think both of them will have the same drive and same heart in the final. This could be one of the most exciting finals of this entire decade.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
The Cilic I saw today and in the QFs vs Berd would have beaten anyone. The Cilic I saw vs Simon was a totally different and very vulnerable player. All credit goes to him for cleaning up his game in time to survive Simon and advance to be able to display this prowess.

Let's see if he stays in that zone Monday. It should be an interesting match!
 

arvind13

Professional
Cilic played very very well. But at the same time, Federer's returning wasn't that great either. Moreover, this is not the same 2004-2007 federer, he has lost a LOT of power and speed. That federer would have probably won in 4 sets. Cilic played well, but not "Marat Safin - 2000 US Open" well.
 

Objective Danny

Hall of Fame
Federer failed to win a set. In the last game he didn't put a racquet on the ball.

One could easily post: 'The Once Great Roger Federer was exposed by Marin Cilic!'
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Q. Is this leftover at all from the Monfils match where you had to go so long and so late? Were you tired?

ROGER FEDERER: No. No, I was feeling good, you know. I was feeling fine, you know. I just think if I could have stayed longer with him in the first set, you know, I felt like there was a proper match going on. But I think him playing with the lead he played with, you know, no fear and just full-out confidence, which clearly everybody at this point sort of has in the semis of a slam. I think he served great when he had to. I think the first break was tough. I think was up 40-Love and then lose five straight points, and then had one chance in the third when I was up a break and he came straight back. Those are my two moments really. But credit to him for just playing incredible tennis.

Q. When you lost the first two sets, were you thinking you were going to plot a comeback like the other night?

ROGER FEDERER: I wasn't as confident this time around, because Marin played more aggressive. He was serving huge. From that standpoint I knew that margins were slim, you know, even though I still believed in my chance. The reaction was there. I did break straight back like I did with Monfils, as well, but I knew probably this comeback would be tougher just because of the risk he was taking and, you know, how big he was serving really.

Q. Was it more his serve or your return that today wasn't at the best?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he's been serving well for some time now. I'm definitely not happy the way I was able to return his serve. I expect better from myself. Especially on his first serve, you know, at least get the feeling like I know what's going on, I know where it's coming. Today that didn't work at all. But, you know, like I said, credit to him. He served big; he served close to the lines. When you do that, there's only so much you can really do. Then I need to focus on my own service game, what I did well against him in Toronto. I didn't get broken for all three sets, I think, and for two-and-a-half hours. So today I probably had to manage something similar. But I think he was also playing really well from the baseline, so let's not only talk about just his serving. From the baseline I think he was hitting the ball very well, as well.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Cilic has always had a great game. He has, like many players who are great, folded mentally during most tournaments. It is nice to see him rising to the level we all knew he was capable of achieving. It is truly amazing that players like Cilic have been held down for so long. It is perhaps a testament to their mental weakness, or to the strength of guys like Federer that held them at bay for this long.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
Federer has been overrated since Wimbledon (no kidding)

I even read some Federer fans here saying it (I think tennisaddict or i am mixing up with someone else).
he's been really overrated.

At Wimbledon he beat Wawrinka (not a great grass player), and Raonic (good match up)

At Toronto and Cincinnati he beat who? A bad Murray and he beat Ferrer (to whom he lost a set 1-6). He also beat players like Lopez, Monfils, Pospisil.

I didn't get the hype about Federer winning the US open, even with a favorable draw the road was tough for the old man.
During Toronto or Cincy, I asked why Fed keeps losing sets. Some suggested that I shouldn't be worried. Well, that worked for a while; we saw what happened against Tsonga in Canada. We then saw something similar in Cincy, including a miserable 2nd set against Ferrer.

During his 2nd round match against Groth, I think, I was worried about him losing serve too often and being shaky. We then had that 1st set against Granollers: terrible terrible set. And even when he got back on serve after the rain delay, he lost his serve at 4-5.

We then had Monfils and today Cilic. To me, he didn't look good with the exception of the last 3 sets vs Granollers and maybe the last one against Monfils (in which the latter gave up). The moment he lost his serve today after being 40-0 up, I saw the worst outcome coming. How on earth did that happen?!

Then we had that 2-0 game in the third; lost his serve right after breaking, and basically it was the sign he won't make it.

I guess what I'm saying is this: Fed didn't play that well during the summer, but played occasionally well. He had too much ups and downs, but managed to win one tournament in the end. I thought he had a chance not because he was playing amazingly well, but because the path was relatively easy; in all honesty, did anybody expect Cilic to do what he did today? I mean, he can win, but in straights? I didn't even predict Fed to win in straight sets.

He looked terrible today: no serve and no return. His serve wasn't there when he needed it: on break points.
 
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ultradr

Legend
1. People think Federer improved this year with the new racquet. I do not think so, despite rise to #3. He is 33 and his game continues to decline even this year.

2. For the last year or so, Federer is increasingly experimenting with more net play. In that
process, his ground game got weaker. That's what usually happens. that's why it is
so hard to implement true all court game.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
I do think that Fed has been playing better this year than last year. In 2013, he could lose very early and barely won Hale. And, the rise in the ranking reflects this improvement.

But, again, he has been shaky at times and his level can drop very quickly after winning a set. Today, he just struggled to find a rhythm and even when he did, early in 3rd, it lasted for 2 minutes.
 
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ultradr

Legend
The rise of Federer's ranking is largely due to top players who are in process of recovering from injuries, IMHO: Nadal, Del Potro, Tsonga and Murray.
 

yescomeon

Rookie
Managing to get just 2 break points against a guy who was serving at little over 50% is poor for any top player, let alone federer.
 

RFGOAT1992

Semi-Pro
i hope federer can improve on the next season ground stroke needs work, backhand needs more angles it was literally in the middle the whole match against cilic and the forehand needs lots of work its simply not as fast and accurate as it use to be, his serve and volley improved alot now all he needs are his defense to be back to 2012 level
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
Federer played very well, keeping his slice low and short, like the other night against Monfils. Monfils stopped bending his knees in 3rd set, Cilic did not stop bending his knees in 3rd set.
 

Rickenbacker4003

Hall of Fame
To me, where he really declined is in his movement more than anything else. He just doesn't cover the court like he used to. Back in his day he would move around the court like a cat. Defend the baseline and then quickly turn defense to offense. He doesn't do that now, he's always late running to the forehand side of the court and he doesn't seem to have that effortless "light on his feet" movement of back then.

That's what made him so dangerous was his ability to neutralize many opponents with his court coverage and then his groundstrokes. How many times would you see him keep from being pounded on the baseline with his slice backhand and then if they dared go to his forehand side go on the defensive in a heartbeat and the point the was over? He lost that quick first step he had. You noticed it in this match especially. I remember seeing the power hitters get overwhelmed not just with his shots, but his ability to cover all parts of the court with such ease and anticipation. He doesn't have that part anymore.
 

BVSlam

Professional
Of course Federer isn't as good as before. What could possibly be surprising or disappointing about that? A 33-year old player is not going to move as well or play as consistently fast and powerful like a 23-year old player, especially when at 23 he was at peak level. At least he has put together a 54-10 record at this point in the season rather than the 35-12 record he at the same point last year. He's most likely going to reach 60 match wins in a season yet again. And SF/4R/F/SF in slams. Just be happy that he's still having seasons like this, jeez.

No, Federer didn't play that badly indeed. But the main problem was that he wasn't really allowed to do anything by Cilic. He could barely take control of any rally because Cilic was just on it, keeping the ball deep in play and hitting everything at a high pace. Of course he misses a few shots or is under pressure on serve when your opponent is playing like that and you feel like you cannot make even the tiniest mistake.

Also, did the match thread get axed? Got out of hand?
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
Federeris honestly still one of the most powerful and quickest players on tour. I dont have to only see the results to see that Fed still has it.

The whole time for me, I felt the sense of dread and helplessness that Cilics serving put on Fed. Especially towards the end. These were serves no one in the world could lay a finger on. It was completely out of Feds hands at that point.

A very similar feeling Cilics oach Ivanisevic gave his opponents I bet.
 

vernonbc

Legend
I guess what I'm saying is this: Fed didn't play that well during the summer, but played occasionally well. He had too much ups and downs, but managed to win one tournament in the end. I thought he had a chance not because he was playing amazingly well, but because the path was relatively easy; in all honesty, did anybody expect Cilic to do what he did today? I mean, he can win, but in straights? I didn't even predict Fed to win in straight sets.
Good post. I also think the media and their worship of Federer doesn't do him or his fans any good either. Ever since Wimbledon I think Fed began to believe his press - his fans certainly did - and he began to think he was invincible. As you say, he had his ups and downs but the slobbering over him just got more extreme and by the USO it was ridiculously over the top.

Although he is, of course, an amazing player, I have a feeling it might have distracted him a bit from his preparation and instead of knowing that he had to give 150% to beat these players, he might have felt his intimidation would be enough to win. He gave that impression in his remarks after the Monfils match and seemed a bit befuddled that it hadn't worked against Cilic.
 

BreakPoint

Bionic Poster
The moment he lost his serve today after being 40-0 up, I saw the worst outcome coming. How on earth did that happen?!
What happened was he got casual in that game. He was up 40-0 and in the next point he just pushed/flicked a forehand because he thought he had the game won, but the ball went just a hair wide. The rest of the game was all downhill as he didn't win another point. Costly mental lapse.
 

Rozroz

G.O.A.T.
Fed didn't play bad????
r u kidding me?
he totally deserved to be crushed.
footwork was gone, no passion.
he actually made Cilic UNCHOKE!
it was an off day.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
At break opportunities, Federer didn't play with risk at all, I don't know what he was thinking. Cilic was amazing, pushing deep and heavy into the court. Very agressive baseline game and a well deserved win. He stayed so focused all along, an impressive performance.
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
At break opportunities, Federer didn't play with risk at all, I don't know what he was thinking.
Excellent point.

As someone fairly new to the professional tour with limited experience or access to coaching resources, Federer has not yet had an opportunity to figure out how to play the important points. As he continues to grow into his body and get comfortable with playing high-profile matches against better players, there is no doubt that he will find a way to maximize his god-given talent and supreme physical abilities within the next 5 or 10 years.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
Excellent point.

As someone fairly new to the professional tour with limited experience or access to coaching resources, Federer has not yet had an opportunity to figure out how to play the important points. As he continues to grow into his body and get comfortable with playing high-profile matches against better players, there is no doubt that he will find a way to maximize his god-given talent and supreme physical abilities within the next 5 or 10 years.
Very clever.
 

tennis_pro

Bionic Poster
Federer played OK. The problem was that playing OK wasn't nearly good enough to beat Cilic playing the match of his life.
 

Magnus

Legend
Federer played as well as he can at his age. He served ok, He tried his best to hang in the rallies, but it simply wasn't enough for the sheer power and accuracy Cilic had.
 

Magnus

Legend
Fed didn't play bad????
r u kidding me?
he totally deserved to be crushed.
footwork was gone, no passion.
he actually made Cilic UNCHOKE!
it was an off day.
When you get one bomb after another ON the lines off both wings, there's not much you can do. Even Fed's 1st serve, which is his greatest strength nowdays, was not enough.
 

kOaMaster

Hall of Fame
That is true indeed. I didn't think Federer was playing bad, he was actually doing okay. Not outstanding but ok. The thing is that Cilic did play outstanding and from another world. This was definitely NOT the Cilic vs Simon and even a better one than vs Berdych. Tough match but it can happen. Reminded me a little of Söderling vs Nadal.

Federer would've had a hard time vs this Cilic 8 years ago as well.
 

yescomeon

Rookie
That is true indeed. I didn't think Federer was playing bad, he was actually doing okay. Not outstanding but ok. The thing is that Cilic did play outstanding and from another world. This was definitely NOT the Cilic vs Simon and even a better one than vs Berdych. Tough match but it can happen. Reminded me a little of Söderling vs Nadal.

Federer would've had a hard time vs this Cilic 8 years ago as well.
True, but the difference is that he would've got through these types of matches where his opponent runs hot, see his match against blake in USO 2006. Going down in straight sets (not even a tie-break) is very un-federer-like against any player, particular cilic type players.
 

kOaMaster

Hall of Fame
True but that will come more often by time. What do you expect? I didn't say he would've lost. I'm just saying those type of players can trouble anyone.
He did great vs Gonzales on fire @ AO07 too.
 

Fed881981

Hall of Fame
At break opportunities, Federer didn't play with risk at all, I don't know what he was thinking.
Usually, Fed has very low conversion rate of BPs. However, I don't think this was his problem in this match: he won 1 of his 2 BPs in this match. So, one problem was not reaching enough BP opportunities to begin with. The second problem: Fed didn't defend BPs well in this match. Yes, he defended 4 of 8, but he lost serve in each service game that Cilic had BPs. I would normally expect him to escape one or two games where he is down BPs, but it did not happen this time.
 
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junior74

G.O.A.T.
Usually, Fed has very low conversion rate of BPs. However, I don't think this was his problem in this match: he won 1 of his 2 BPs in this match. So, one problem was not reaching enough BP opportunities to begin with. The second problem: Fed didn't defend BPs well in this match. Yes, he defended 4 of 8, but he lost serve in each service game that Cilic had BPs. I would normally expect him to escape one or two games where he is down BPs, but it did not happen this time.
You're right. I was actually thinking of "set-up points". He had a few in the third set, where I thought he could change the match, but it looked as if he just hoped Cilic would make a mistake, instead of being aggressive in those situations.

His 1st serve didn't save him when facing BPs, like it so often does.

Cilic was incredible. Federer couldn't read his game, and was wrong-footed a lot more than he usually is.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
Good post. I also think the media and their worship of Federer doesn't do him or his fans any good either. Ever since Wimbledon I think Fed began to believe his press - his fans certainly did - and he began to think he was invincible. As you say, he had his ups and downs but the slobbering over him just got more extreme and by the USO it was ridiculously over the top.

Although he is, of course, an amazing player, I have a feeling it might have distracted him a bit from his preparation and instead of knowing that he had to give 150% to beat these players, he might have felt his intimidation would be enough to win. He gave that impression in his remarks after the Monfils match and seemed a bit befuddled that it hadn't worked against Cilic.
Interesting post. The hype was way over the top. That may have put undue pressure on him as well.
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
I think his worst mistake was trying to come in. Fed's coming in is starting to look like Roddick's. He might can come in on an inferior player, but if the other player is playing well he should abandon that strategy.
 

vernonbc

Legend
I think his worst mistake was trying to come in. Fed's coming in is starting to look like Roddick's. He might can come in on an inferior player, but if the other player is playing well he should abandon that strategy.
You're right, it is beginning to look like Roddick, isn't it? And just like Roddick, against good players he will just get passed and passed and passed and he ends up standing in the middle of the court looking angry and befuddled.
 
You're right, it is beginning to look like Roddick, isn't it? And just like Roddick, against good players he will just get passed and passed and passed and he ends up standing in the middle of the court looking angry and befuddled.
The pundits from the VB analyzing Federer's game.

Priceless.

:roll:
 

TheTruth

G.O.A.T.
You're right, it is beginning to look like Roddick, isn't it? And just like Roddick, against good players he will just get passed and passed and passed and he ends up standing in the middle of the court looking angry and befuddled.
It does. Even I wanted him to abandon the strategy. It wasn't working, mate. Jump ship!
 
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