Federer ready for tough semifinal against Cilic

Despite more than 70 net approaches against Gael Monfils on Thursday night and an overall high success rate at the net throughout the tournament, Roger Federer was not convinced that charging the net would necessarily be a winning tactic against Marin Cilic in their Super Saturday US Open semi-final clash.

“I started to serve and volley some more as the match went on. But I don't know if I can keep it up,” said Federer, who won 53 of 74 net approaches in his five-set victory over Monfils. “It's going to be a day match now against Cilic. I played him in Toronto in also equally fast conditions. That was a night match. I'm happy I'm spending some time at the net, because that's going to keep giving me confidence to keep on doing that as we move along in the tournament.

“There are different ways to come to the net. It can be serve and volley, it can be serve one shot come in, or throughout the rally. So I think it depends a little bit on who I'm playing. I know that Cilic is going to stay on the baseline and dictate play as much as he can. Otherwise he's actually quite similar to Gaël: he's tall, got a big serve, can return well, got a big reach. From that standpoint, I guess it was actually good playing Gaël tonight ahead of the match against Cilic.”

Exhilarated by the support he got from the New York crowd in his comeback five-set win over Monfils on Thursday night, Federer was eager to get on court against Cilic as he seeks to reach his seventh US Open final and first since 2009, when he finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro.

“There were thousands of fans in the stadium,” exclaimed Federer. “It grows your belief that you can hit better shots, you can dig out more tough balls, you can serve better. All that just helps solidify your belief.

“I must say tonight was actually quite emotional for me. I really thought the crowds were incredible. They definitely got me through the match out here tonight. I really enjoyed it, and I can't wait for the next match to come around.”

Federer has a perfect 5-0 ATP Head to Head against Cilic, including a hard-fought three-set win over the Croat in Toronto last month, and admitted Cilic is in the best form of his life ahead of their Saturday clash.

“I must say he's really cleaned up his game,” said Federer. “It feels like he also has a say in the outcome, and that's kind of what you want, especially against top players. I thought today he played great start to finish.

“I played him in Toronto. Funny match. I didn't play great in the first set but somehow got it done, and then I think I wasted like eight match points in the second set; had to go three. It was late at night, but maybe that’s exactly the kind of match I needed to win. I think he's doing great. I know it's going to be a tough match.”

Date: 6th September 2014, Source: ATP


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