(September 6, 2014) Super Saturday at the US Open had its second shocker of the day when No. 14th seed Marin Cilic used his big serve and big strokes to dominate No. 2 seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first major final.
The match followed the first surprise of the day when No. 1 Novak Djokovic was upset 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Monday’s final will feature two players in their first major final – 24-year-old No. 10 Nishikori versus 25-year-old No. 14 Cilic.
“Just an amazing day for me. I feel amazing,” Cilic said. “To be able to play like this, I never dreamed of.”
“Just for the performance today from, I mean, first point to the last I was absolutely playing the best tennis of my life,” Coloc said in press.. “Considering the huge occasion I was playing in, I mean, for the second time in a semifinals of a Grand Slam, it just can’t be more special. Considering also that, you know, even I was a set up and break up, you know, the crowd was rooting for Roger to come back. You know, it wasn’t easy to deal with that, but I felt that my serve helped me a lot today, you know, to get some free points to breathe a little bit easier. It was, I mean, working perfectly.”
“It’s fairly simple: I think Marin played great,” Federer said. “I maybe didn’t catch my best day, but I think that was pretty much it in a nutshell.”
“I think he served great when he had to,” Federer said. “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.”
The Monday final will mark the first time since the Australian Open final in 2005 that neither Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic is in a grand slam final.
“That’s going to be a sensational day for both of us,” said Cilic about his match against Nishikori.
This marked the first time Cilic has beaten Federer, the Swiss won on the five previous occasions.
Cilic is the first man from Croatia to reach a grand slam final since his coach Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon back in 2001.
“Well, it’s gonna be special day for both of us,” said the Croat. “I mean, opportunity for both of us to win a Grand Slam, to be a part of the history. It’s gonna be definitely huge emotions on the court. And we played couple times already here at the US Open. Both of those matches were extremely tough under very difficult conditions. I feel that, I mean, we have both different game styles. I mean, Kei is extremely well — I mean, he hits the ball extremely well from the back of the court. I think I’m going to have to just focus on my game to break that a little bit of rhythm and to try to serve well. I think it’s gonna be a good sort of tactical matchup for the final.”