It is difficult to see how Marin Cilic can stop Roger Federer winning a sixth Australian Open – and 20th Grand Slam title – on Sunday in a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon final.
On that occasion Federer brushed aside an injured Cilic in straight sets but, if anything, the Swiss veteran seems to have been in even better form in Melbourne.
The 36-year-old was only on court for just over one hour in his semi-final clash against Hyeon Chung before the South Korean was forced to retire due to a foot injury.
Federer had won his five preceding matches in straight sets, including against Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych, and can be backed at 57/20 to win the first set 7-6 on Sunday.
Cilic will be playing in his third Grand Slam final, having won the 2014 US Open before last year’s Wimbledon disappointment. He easily saw off Kyle Edmund in the semi-finals after knocking out world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
The Croat lost two of the first three sets before claiming the fourth and was leading 2-0 in the decider when Nadal retired. He defeated Pablo Carreno Busta, Joao Sousa, Vasek Pospisil and Ryan Harrison earlier in the tournament and can be backed at 16/5 to cause a major upset by winning the Australian Open final.
Federer has won eight of their previous nine meetings, with Cilic’s only triumph coming in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open before he beat Kei Nishikori in the final.
Cilic will move up to third in the world rankings even if he loses to Federer while he is available at 17/2 to win the first set of the final 6-4.
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