As my last tip suggested, Marin Cilic would have too many big guns for Nishikori, however it wasn't just from the first delivery, many times his follow up.
Cilic didn't actually serve that well, in fact he only got just over half of his first serves in , he did however win 80 per cent of those first service points, that's remarkable. It emphasizes the need to develop a serve that is not just a point starter but a weapon to gain free points with. Just as Cilic's coach Goran Ivanisevic did back when he was playing, the 'student' has seen why his mentor was so effective.
The Wimbledon Men's Singles Final in 2001 was an epic match but towards the end of the match I recall a comment made by someone that stuck in my mind. " You get the feeling Pat Rafter has no say in the outcome of this match right now". The comment referred to Goran's serving, it was huge , even at the end of the match and it was tough for Rafter as he didn't know whether to expect a double fault or an ace. In fact in that last game at 15 all Goran did put in a double fault giving the Aussie a glimmer of hope but he once again served his way out of trouble.
I am not a fan of the big serving style of play but Cilic is far from a one shot wonder, his ground strokes are magnificent, he proved that at Wimbledon this year. Apart from the final where Federer went oh so close to winning, Cilic was the only player to really trouble eventual Champion Djokovic. Cilic hits the ball not unlike the Swede Soderling who is the only player to beat Nadal at the French Open in the last 10 years. The power with each strike is sensational and puts the opponent on the back foot from the outset. Cilic's Coach Ivanisevic was much the same, his serve was huge but his ground strokes were hard and flat and he set up many easy volleys with big approaches.
In the US Open final this year Cilic not only out served Nishikori , he out hit him from the back of the court with ease. Marin only came to the net 13 times but to win 11 of those points tells you something, he came in on a shot that set him up for an easy volley. To win 43 per cent of service returns is also a statistic that says this player is seeing the ball like a basketball.
To only make 27 unforced errors but hit 38 winners tells the story of how Cilic plays and is testimony to the fact that his coach has almost 'brainwashed' him into playing like he did . Goran was unlucky to not win more major titles , especially at Wimbledon where he lost in three previous finals, two of them in 5 sets. It's a style that if on, is almost impossible to stop as it's a barrage of serving and heavy hitting that does not let up for a moment.
Marin Cilic is a man who could win Wimbledon in the years to come but he would have to tone it down somewhat at the French, a tough surface to win on with his style.
Hats off to Kei Nishikori, another product of a former player Michael Chang who has instilled his values of making the opponent play every ball, he will no doubt be a top 5 player in the future.
Nice to see some new blood in the finals of a major at last, the whole script was becoming predictable.......