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Rediff.com  » Sports » Cilic ready to step up against record-chasing Federer

Cilic ready to step up against record-chasing Federer

July 16, 2017 15:31 IST

'But I still know that it's a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe some of the best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it's going to be a huge challenge.'

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Marin Cilic celebrates his victory against Sam Querrey in the semi-finals. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Marin Cilic is confident he can build on last year's heartbreak and prevent Roger Federer from winning a record eighth Wimbledon men's singles crown when the pair meet in Sunday's title showdown on Centre Court.

In seven meetings against the tall Croatian, Federer has lost just once, a 2014 US Open semi-final defeat as Cilic went on to claim his maiden Grand Slam title.

In last year's quarter-finals at the All England Club, Federer saved three match points before edging out Cilic in five sets and the closeness of that match is comforting for the Croat.

"I was one point away from winning a match over here against him. Definitely, I believe in my own abilities to get through and to win it," the 28-year-old said.

"But I still know that it's a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe some of the best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it's going to be a huge challenge. But I believe I'm ready," he added.

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Marin Cilic in action. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

However, the Swiss, level with Britain's William Renshaw and American Pete Sampras on a joint record seven Wimbledon titles, enters the final as the clear favourite, having not dropped a set in entire the tournament.

Should he triumph, Federer, who turns 36 next month, will become the oldest winner of the Challenge Cup since tennis turned professional in 1968.

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