Cilic no match for brilliant Federer


Everything points to a routine victory for Roger Federer when he comes up against Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final.

The 36-year-old Swiss star has not dropped a set in Melbourne so far and can be backed 7/5 to keep that record intact by beating Cilic in straight sets.

Federer has won the tournament on five previous occasions – in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2017 – and has only lost one Australian Open final, a five-set epic to Rafael Nadal nine years ago.

If he wins on Sunday – in what will be his 30th Grand Slam final – it will be his 20th success.

Cilic’s only triumph against Federer in nine attempts came in the semi-finals of the US Open in 2014 and he went on to claim his only Grand Slam title by beating Kei Nishikori in the New York final.

The Croat’s only other Grand Slam final appearance came at Wimbledon just over six months ago when a foot injury played its part in his heavy defeat to Federer.

The Swiss veteran has been so dominant in Australia this month that it is difficult to remember that his best days seemed to be behind him following his victory in Melbourne eight years ago.

He won only one of the next 27 Grand Slam tournaments – beating Andy Murray in the 2012 Wimbledon final – but then enjoyed a brilliant 2017 after following up his triumph at the Australian Open by winning the Wimbledon title for an eighth time.

Sixth-seed Cilic is 16/5 to cause a shock by beating Federer on Sunday and is 19/2 to win it in four sets.

Cilic eased past Kyle Edmund in the semi-finals, having not got past the fourth round in Melbourne since 2010, and is 22/1 to start well in Sunday’s final by winning the first set 7-5.

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