MATCH UP STATS
Game handicap:Roger Federer: -5.5 games @ $2 with Sportsbet.com.auMarin Cilic: +5.5 games @ $1.72 with Sportsbet.com.au
HE’S back for title number six.
Roger Federer, the Swiss master, has avoided catching the injury bug in a tournament full of upsets to make his seventh Australian Open final.
The 36-year-old will face Croatian Marin Cilic on Sunday at Vodafone Arena, looking to match Novak Djokovic’s record of six major titles down under.
Federer, who gained entry after his opponent Chung Hyeon retired hurt during the second set of the semi final, will be well-rested and is the overwhelming favourite with bookmakers – CrownBet.com.au is offering the best head-to-head odds at -384.62 for the champ.
Cilic, who has powered his way through the draw with a powerful serve and a wave of momentum, starts at +350 with Sportsbet.com.au.
The two opponents have played each other nine times, which Federer has comprehensively had the advantage, winning 8 of those matches.
But there is more to these stats than meets the eye.
Cilic has a history of seriously troubling Federer – one five-set match in particular at Wimbledon in 2016 is noted as one of the great tennis battles of the last five years.
When Cilic won his first and only major tournament at the US Open in 2014, he accounted for Federer in the semi final.
Cilic has seven years on Federer, who seems to have found the fountain of youth over the past 24 months – don’t expect age or fitness to be a factor.
So who wins? Does Federer delight a nation that loves him and extend his record to 20 major victories?
Let’s break down the odds and markets where there’s some value.
Best bets for Roger Federer – Aus Open final
In an age when Australia’s tennis fans are dealing with a plague of ‘brats’ that can’t reach a level of professionalism needed to thrive in the game, Federer has always been the envy of our nation.
A class act on and off the court, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any tennis player in the sport’s history more loved on foreign soil.
So can Federer, who won an incredible final in 2017, deliver one last gift to Melbourne?
We think he can.
- Federer 3-1: +250 @ Sportsbet.com.au
- Federer 6-4 in the first set: $4.50 @ Sportsbet.com.au
- First break of service, Federer: $1.57 @ Sportsbet.com.au
- Number of sets in match, 4: +150 @ WilliamHill.com.au
We think Federer, who has looked calm, composed and focused throughout the tournament, will deal with the big stage well early and jump out of the blocks with fresher legs.
Cilic, who is having the tournament of his life, will put up a fight – make no mistake.
We expect the Croatian sensation to take a set off Federer at some point, but that Fed can finish things off in four sets.