The 2017 Wimbledon Championships announced their first champion on Saturday as Garbine Muguruza throttled Venus Williams, 7-5, 6-0, to clinch her second Grand Slam title and her first at SW19.
Muguruza suffered defeat to the younger Williams sister, Serena, in this fixture back in 2015, but ESPN confirmed the 2016 French Open winner claimed another accolade by getting the better of veteran Venus:
Garbiñe Muguruza defeats Venus Williams for her first Wimbledon title. She's the 1st to beat both Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final. https://t.co/hIaK0LkCpr2017-7-15 14:33:50
Attention will turn back toward the men's singles on Sunday as Roger Federer prepares to take on Marin Cilic in their final, where the former can seal his place as the most successful player ever to grace Wimbledon.
The Swiss superstar will be making his 11th appearance in the Wimbledon final, and a victory would see him move clear as the first man to win eight crowns at the competition in south-west London.
Read on for a preview of Sunday's final as Cilic looks to subvert the odds and somehow complete a fairytale run through Wimbledon against arguably its greatest-ever combatant.
Cilic to Beat Federer in 5 Sets
On-paper form suggests Cilic has little chance of besting the fancied Federer on Sunday. The 28-year-old has lost in six of his seven meetings with the current world No. 5, per the official ATP World Tour website, who is largely regarded as the master of grass.
And it's not as though Federer's 35 years are slowing him down as the younger finalist might hope, either, after SportsCenter confirmed he's progressed without so much as a hiccup thus far:
No. 11✔️ Roger Federer does it again, and this time without dropping a single set in the tournament. https://t.co/6OI4P6eu7b2017-7-14 18:06:07
But Cilic, 28, is playing some of the best tennis of his career at SW19—without a doubt the best he's shown at Wimbledon—and the stage seems almost set for him to deny Federer a historic eighth crown when it's so close.
Owing to the fact Cilic has played more full sets in the tournament already—the Croat has played 21 to Federer's 16—it wouldn't be a shock to see the Swiss chase a swifter victory to get the win wrapped up early on.
However, comeback wins over Gilles Muller (quarter-final) and Sam Querrey (semi-final) have shown the first-time Wimbledon finalist has grit in reserves and isn't the type to be bullied off the court.
It's also worth remembering Federer's most recent win over Cilic—a 6-7 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-3 quarter-final win at SW19 last year—required a mighty comeback, and he hasn't forgotten his sole defeat to the Croat, per Metro's George Bellshaw:
George Bellshaw @BellshawGeorge
Federer on Cilic: 'He's a great guy, I know him really well. He crushed me at the US Open a few years ago. I hope it's not like that again.'2017-7-14 17:53:34
That one win against Federer turned out to be a major blessing for Cilic, too, as he moved into the 2014 U.S. Open final following that result and beat Japan's Kei Nishikori for the only major title of his career so far.
What's more, that appearance in New York was Cilic's only appearance in a Grand Slam final until he continued his career-best Wimbledon by beating Querrey in four sets on Friday to book his second:
The reaction says it all. @cilic_marin becomes the first Croatian to reach the #Wimbledon final since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001 🇭🇷 https://t.co/gprkQc0wFK2017-7-14 15:12:40
Whether Federer is his opponent or not, Cilic has to make his move on the tennis hierarchy now if he is to ever contend for the peak, with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both out of sorts while Rafael Nadal searches for more consistency.
Unlike his quarter-final defeat to Federer at Wimbledon last year, it could be that the longer Sunday's final goes on, the stronger the chances are for Croatia's top star to emerge victorious.
He's already become accustomed to playing out lengthier rallies at this year's competition, and while that's something of an indictment talent-wise, it means that physically he could be better prepared for a tug-of-war.
Federer overcame semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych's serve to progress into Sunday's decider, but seventh seed Cilic has more weapons in his arsenal and has a prime opportunity to advance towards becoming one of tennis' newest heavyweights.