Marin Cilic ready to ruin Roger Federer's bid to make Wimbledon history
Marin Cilic is confident he can build on last year's heartbreak to prevent Roger Federer from winning a record eighth Wimbledon men's singles crown when the pair meet in Sunday's title showdown on Centre Court.
In seven meetings against the tall Croatian, Federer has lost just once, a 2014 US Open semi-final defeat as Cilic went on to claim his maiden Grand Slam title.
In last year's quarter-finals at the All England Club, Federer saved three match points before edging out Cilic in five sets and the closeness of that match is comforting for the 28-year-old Croat.
"I was one point away from winning a match over here against him. Definitely, I believe in my own abilities to get through and to win it. "
"But I still know that it's a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe some of the best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it's going to be a huge challenge. But I believe I'm ready.
However, the Swiss, level with Britain's William Renshaw and American Pete Sampras on a joint record seven Wimbledon titles, enters the final as the clear favourite, having not dropped a set in entire the tournament.
Should he triumph, Federer, who turns 36 next month, will become the oldest winner of the Challenge Cup since tennis turned professional in 1968.
7-Marin Cilic (Croatia)
- The big-serving Croatian was taken to four sets by American Sam Querrey in the last round but held his nerve to reach his first Wimbledon final.
- Cilic had an impressive build-up to the championships, reaching the final at the Queen's Club and the semi-finals at Den Bosch last month.
- The 2014 US Open champion is the first Croatian to appear in a Wimbledon singles final since Goran Ivanisevic triumphed in 2001. He is also looking to be the first from his country to win multiple grand slams.
3-Roger Federer (Switzerland)
- The 35-year-old Swiss, who won the Australian Open earlier this year, has been in stellar form at Wimbledon where he is yet to lose a set this year.
- Federer was rusty upon his return to the grass in Stuttgart but hit his stride in Halle, where he claimed his ninth title at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament without dropping a set.
- The Swiss will become the most successful man in Wimbledon history if he can beat Cilic in Sunday's final and capture the Challenge Cup for an unprecedented eighth time.
- If he wins, Federer will be the oldest winner of the men's All England Club title in the professional era.