“Roger Has the Formula”: Marin Cilic Wary of Roger Federer Ahead of French Open 2021 Clash

Published 06/03/2021, 12:04 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 16: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory in his Singles match against Marin Cilic of Croatia during day five of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)


Former World No.3 Marin Cilic will face 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the French Open 2021 second-round. The duo has shared an extensive history of playing in Grand Slam tournaments; however, they haven’t faced at an early stage.

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Before their clash, the Croatian professional opened up on facing Federer again on the ATP tour. It will be their 11th career meeting, in which the Swiss maestro leads the head-to-head 9-1.

Watch This Story: Shocking!: Bianca Andreescu, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, And Others’ First-Round Exits at French Open 2021

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Cilic impressed by Federer’s comeback and level of his game at 39

Firstly, the 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic stated that a second-round match would be comparatively different than a quarterfinals or a semifinals match. He added that it also would be a challenge for both, highlighting Federer‘s limited match experience in the past two years.

“It’s going to be a challenge for both me and also definitely for Roger,” Cilic said. “It’s not going to be easy. He hasn’t played too much.”

Roger Federer of Switzerland talks to his coach Ivan Ljubicic during a practice session with Marin Cilic of Croatia at the Rolex Shanghai Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 05, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

However, given that Federer is approaching 40, the 32-year-old Croatian expressed genuine admiration. He also praises the maestro for coming back after two knee surgeries and being swift and at ease on a tennis court.

Cilic said, “Hat down to Roger for his motivation and his level these past several years. Absolutely when you see him playing, you don’t feel that he is almost 40 years old the way he moves, the way he hits the ball. The way he actually plays the game is, still, I would say, one of the quickest on the Tour. No matter the age, Roger has the formula.”

Notably, the last two times they met in a major tournament, it was in the finals. Federer won both of them, the 2017 Wimbledon Championships and the 2018 Australian Open.

Read More: French Open 2021: Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic 2nd Round: Live Stream; When and Where To Watch

Marin Cilic on how coach Ivan Ljubicic helped Roger Federer

The current World No.47 explained that Ljubicic unlocked many new layers in Federer’s game. Cilic even claimed that Ljubicic was one of the reasons behind Fed’s success at the Australian Open 2017 final against Rafael Nadal.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland on winning their Men’s Final as Roger Federer holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

When he won the Australian Open in 2017, we were all so amazed the way his backhand had improved, and he beat Rafa there in the final, and he also beat him in the Miami final and Indian Wells as well. That was the biggest shift,” Cilic concluded.

Above all, Federer is enjoying his time on the Parisian clay and would do his best against Cilic. Let us see if the Croatian can cause an upset for the Swiss maestro in their French Open 2021 second-round bout.

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Also Read: “Dancing on Clouds”: Listen to the tunes of Roger Federer’s feet on Clay at French Open 2021

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Purav Joshi

805 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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