Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How does Marin Cilic ever lose?

It's almost a day later, matches have come and gone, but I'm still impressed by Marin Cilic's run so far at the Aussie. Even though he knocked off a TTA? fave in Andy Roddick, which I figured was going to happen, he still gets props!

I've been looking for him to make a big run at a Major the past few Slams and it looks like it's really happening here. Actually, every time I see him in a draw for the past year or so, I think "Why can't he win?"

Which takes me to the point of the headline of this post: How does he ever lose? I don't know, maybe it's beyond the comprehension of this 4.0 player, but I just can't figure out how you'd stop him, particularly on a faster surface. Here's my breakdown on him:

• The serve: Big.

• Groundies: Big.

• Movement: Great, especially for a big guy.

• Net game: Better than a lot of players.

• Confidence in his shots: High. Look how many winners he blasts off both sides, no matter the score.

Those are just a few of the technical and mental factors. But here's what really does it for me: the body type. I personally think a long, lean body can do wonders as far as helping with reach and leverage to generate power. Also, heavy topspin's not going to bother him, and I don't think slice is going to eat him up either. He's kind of like a male Venus Williams (who I'm also baffled by when they lose, like tonight).

Now I'm not gonna run out and start a Cilic fan club, just taking a look at the product, which with his age, isn't even a finished one yet. Juan Martin del Potro beat him to Slam glory, but I like Cilic's game way more, and I expect him to have better stats than del Po when it's all said and done.

(Photo: Getty Images)


cms said...

I like Marin's game way more than Delpo's as well. His serving-out-sets confidence has to get much better, but winning three 5-setters in a Slam helps move that along. How about the way he started the fifth set after losing sets 3 and 4? Many, many, many players on tour would have folded. 6-0, easy.

He's for real, and I'm looking forward to being in this cheering section for many years.

TopSpin said...

I'm with you Van, although I would say that at times Marins a little too risky for his own good.

That wristy action is a tad error prone too.

But none of that has been in any great evidence this week, if anything his play has had a more patient considered quality - one that's based on constructing points sensibly before ripping a winner - something he'd all to often try and attempt too soon in the past.

I'd like to think he can reach the final, though I do wonder about the effect playing three five setters will have on him.

Alan said...

Here is Cilic's problem as far as I saw v Roddick. He is mentally weak, much like Davydenko was against Federer - difference is Cilic survived, and barely against a gimpy Roddick

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van said...

• Hey cms, I agree with you. Particularly for a player that young, to come back after the momentum shifted was impressive.

• Hey TopSpin, what's up? I guess those matches must have taken their toll on him, but then you have to think Murray's probably the worst type of player for him to go against.

• Hey Alan. You don't think he showed much mental fortitude to knock off del Potro? He's one of the few kids that have come along in recent years to put up big results like he has.

• Glad to help out, Anonymous!

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