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Saturday, 27 January 2018

Australian Open Tennis Day 14 Picks 2018- Men's Final (January 28th)

The final day at the Australian Open is headlined by the men's Singles Final and this year it is Marin Cilic taking on Roger Federer for the title.

While the women's Final was contested by the top two players in the World Rankings, the men's Final is between the Number 2 and Number 3 Ranked players.

Roger Federer has been in fantastic form so far this week and has yet to drop a set, but Marin Cilic is perhaps the most dangerous opponent he has faced. I do think this will be a good Final with the way both players have been playing and I am looking forward to the early Sunday start as we close the first Grand Slam of the season.

So what is next for the tennis picks after this weekend? The ATP Tour actually has a free week with the Davis Cup ties in the opening Round of the World Group being played next weekend.

I will look out for any picks from the WTA St Petersburg event that is being played this week with some of the top players on the Tour taking part in that event. However with just the one tournament of note up until Friday it may not be a lot of options available and so the tennis picks this week are likely to be out without the consistency of day to day picks.

On Friday I should have some picks from the Davis Cup to add to any selections from the WTA St Petersburg event.

The week after this one we will get to see three ATP events beginning with the 'Golden Swing' in South America, the indoor European season and the North American hard court events all beginning. That means a busy month is ahead before we get to the first Masters event of the season at Indian Wells which begins in early March after the first ATP 500 events have been placed in the books in February.

Marin Cilic-Roger Federer over 38.5 games: The feeling was that we were heading towards a repeat of the 2017 Australian Open Final when Rafael Nadal took a 2-1 lead over Marin Cilic in their Quarter Final. However it was not to be for the World Number 1 who suffered an injury in the fourth set and Marin Cilic took full advantage to reach another Grand Slam Final.

The run to the Final here in Melbourne also means Cilic is going to reach a career high of World Number 3 whether he wins or loses here. The all around game that Cilic possesses does make him a very dangerous opponent for anyone he plays with the big serve and the heavy groundstrokes able to dictate rallies to his liking.

Redemption will also be on the mind of Cilic going into Sunday's Final.

Last year at Wimbledon was perhaps the lowest point of Cilic's career as an injury taken into the Final almost forced him to pull out of the match. He tried hard to compete, but emotionally it was all too much for Cilic who openly shed tears on Centre Court and then battled against all odds to at least complete the Final.

That would have gotten Cilic a lot of sympathy, but it is never easy to have the crowd support you over Roger Federer who was also his opponent at Wimbledon on that day.

Federer has moved through to the Final without dropping a set in the Australian Open and he should be well rested after Hyeon Chung pulled out of their Semi Final when trailing 6-1, 5-2. That could be important for Federer, although I don't doubt his fitness, and I don't think either Cilic or the defending Champion will feel they could come into this Final in much better condition.

A healthy Cilic has also been a tough test for Federer to deal with even if the Swiss player has gotten the better of the head to head. When Cilic is serving to his maximum level, Federer can struggle to get a look in and the match Tomas Berdych played against Federer in the Quarter Final has to be on the mind of Cilic going into this Final.

Berdych has perhaps been the closest player to take a set from Federer this week and he made a fast start which put Federer under pressure. He even served for the first set and Cilic is arguably a similar player, but superior in most departments these days. Cilic will be able to set his points up with the big serve, if it is firing, and he is securer with his movement and groundstrokes than Berdych, while I also think Cilic is a little more comfortable at the net.

Suffice to say I don't imagine this Final going the same way as the one at Wimbledon, especially with Cilic much healthier coming into this match.

Matches between these players may have generally ended in favour of Federer, but Cilic has beaten him at the US Open on the way to winning the title there and also held a 2-0 lead in sets at Wimbledon in 2016 before missing a huge chance to beat Federer there too.

In fact Cilic has taken at least one set in four of the last five matches between him and Federer including at the ATP Finals a few months ago. Yes he has only won one of those matches, but I would be massively surprised if Cilic is able to record another straight sets win over Federer at a Grand Slam with the way the latter is playing.

However Cilic is playing well enough to take a set and he is serving well enough to make Federer dig deep to turn this back around. It would be a surprise if Federer is not able to win at least one set and I can see this Final being another classic Down Under with at least four sets needed.

I can't see either player falling away easily in the match and the serving both have produced suggests this is a match that is going to feature four tight sets at the least. That should give the Final every chance of covering this number of games set in the total games market.

A tiebreaker or two can't be ruled out and I think three competitive sets will be enough to cover the number as long as neither player wins this match in straight sets. The numbers being produced by both men suggests that is unlikely to be the case barring something unforeseen happening and I am looking for the total games to be surpassed.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic-Roger Federer Over 37.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 35-38, - 4.84 Units (125 Units Staked, - 3.87% Yield)

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