SW34 is TENNIS.com's Wimbledon blog that will provide on-site news, insight and commentary about a pair of legendary 34-year-olds, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, as they look to once again triumph at the All England Club.
LONDON—The world was rewarded with a Wimbledon classic on Wednesday, with Roger Federer saving three match points against Marin Cilic and completing an improbable comeback, 6-7 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-3.
“It’s great fun playing against Marin, he’s one of the nicest guys on tour,” the 34-year-old said. “I feel sorry for him, but for me the dream continues. I thought I fought well, I played great at the end. I’m very, very pleased.”
Though Cilic won their last match, in the semifinals of the U.S. Open in 2014, the Swiss led their head to head 5-1 going into Wednesday, and his form has been far better than the Croat’s. Cilic had the fortnight of his life to capture his maiden Grand Slam in New York two years ago, but the world No. 13 hasn’t performed particularly well since.
The 27-year-old, however, was playing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the third straight year. Cilic’s biggest change was adding 2001 Wimbledon champion and fellow Croat Goran Ivanisevic to his team.
“Definitely since I'm working with Goran, we made three quarters in a row, which I have never done before,” Cilic said. “Definitely just a sign that we are working well. This year I feel that I'm playing the best out of all these years in the past, and it's another good, positive sign.”
If he’s dialed in and making the big shots, Cilic can beat anyone, as he has proved in the past. What Federer lacks in power, the world No. 3 makes up for in finesse, particularly with crafty passing shots, pinpoint precision on his serve and ground-stroke winners.