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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Powerful Cilic relishes renewed battle with Wimbledon's king of the court

2017 final pits players involved in thrilling five-set battle last year

Croatia's Marin Cilic says he's ready for Federer as he seeks to take his second major title (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool Photo via AP)
Croatia's Marin Cilic says he's ready for Federer as he seeks to take his second major title (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool Photo via AP)

Marin Cilic said he was ready for the huge challenge of facing Roger Federer on his “home court” at Wimbledon in Sunday’s men’s singles final and was taking comfort from coming within a point of beating him at last year’s tournament.

The powerful Croatian beat American Sam Querrey over four sets 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 in the battle of the big servers in Friday’s semi-final to set him for a shot at a second grand slam title.

Cilic won the US Open in 2014, a rare triumph from a player outside of the big four. “It just opened so many possibilities in my mind for the rest of my career,” Cilic told reporters after his victory. He becomes the first Croatian to reach the final at Wimbledon since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001.

Cilic spurned three match points last year when losing in five sets to Federer, but recognised that the Swiss will be favourite as he seeks his 19th major crown.

"Roger is playing maybe one of his 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."