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By Chris Oddo | Friday July 4, 2017

 
Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic surged past Sam Querrey in four sets to book a spot in his first career Wimbledon final on Friday.

Photo Source: Camera Sport

Last year he left Wimbledon bitterly disappointed after failing to convert three match points against Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and squandering a two sets to love lead.

This year he’s proved resilient—and dangerous.

Marin Cilic surged past Sam Querrey on Friday at Wimbledon, rolling through the final three sets to win, 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5 in two hours and 56 minutes.

Cilic becomes the second Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon final, and the first since Goran Ivanisevic shocked Wimbledon by defeating Pat Rafter 9-7 in the fifth set in 2001. The 28-year-old is also the second Croatian man to reach multiple major finals.

Cilic blasted 25 aces and 70 winners to keep Querrey at bay for much of the contest, and he converted four of 14 break points.

“I kind of felt like he pushed me around a little bit today,” Querrey told reporters after the match. “You know, kind of deflated me a little bit. But he just does everything really well.”

Cilic was assertive with his first serve, winning 69 of 78 first-serve points, including all 17 in the fourth set. He had a few small lapses that gave Querrey hope; in the third set while serving at 2-1 he was broken when Querrey struck a backhand winner, and in the fourth set he was broken for 2-1 when Querrey forced him into a backhand error.

But Cilic would respond to every challenge he faced. He snatched the third set in a tiebreaker, and in the fourth he broke Querrey back for 3-4, driving a booming forehand to force a Querrey backhand error. He broke again in the final game of the match, clinching his spot in the final when he ripped a forehand down-the-line winner that Querrey didn’t even bother to make a play on.


It was another breathtaking display of power by Cilic, who has been a menace on the Wimbledon grass throughout his career but perhaps never as much as in 2017. He has struck 104 forehand winners and 130 aces in his six matches, and produced at least 40 percent unreturnable serves in all six of his matches.

"I managed to regroup and felt that mentally in the critical situations, I was really good, even having a break down in that fourth set," said Cilic after the match. "I managed to turn it around. I would say I played throughout the match really a high level."

Querrey, who leaves Wimbledon as the first American to reach a major semifinal since 2009, saw it the same way.

“He didn't seem to have many holes,” Querrey said. “I played him a handful of times before. Lost a bunch. But he did seem to play at a really high level today.”

 

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