The 2017 Wimbledon final is a story of destiny for 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and all that stands in his way of an eighth title at the All England Club is Marin Cilic.

The last time that these two met was in London last year, when Federer escaped a two-set deficit against the Croatian to advance to the semifinals, where he would lose to Milos Raonic. But Federer remembers another match in which he met Cilic late in a major—when Cilic beat him in straight sets at the 2014 US Open en route to his only Grand Slam victory.

“He was clocking returns and serves at will,” Federer said. “He was doing a great job. I think I had a minor chance at one point maybe third set, I was up a break. I don't remember. Just the way he was playing. He was confident and feeling it and seeing it. I mean, it was very impressive.”

Cilic remembers that run fondly, but also recalls how close he was to defeating Federer last year at Wimbledon.

“Twelve months ago I was one point away from winning a match over here against him. Definitely I believe that if I'm going to be playing him, in my own abilities to get through and to win it,” Cilic said. “But I still know that it's a big mountain to climb. Roger is playing maybe one of his best tennis of his career at the moment, having a great season. So I know it's going to be a huge challenge. But I believe I'm ready.”


Roger Federer

Ranking: 5

Age: 35

Head-to-head record: 6-1

Grand Slams: 18

2017 Record: 30-2

Career Grand Slam Record: 320-51

Career Grass-court Record: 166-25

2017 Wimbledon Games Lost (Average Ranking of Opponents): 66 (No. 37)

Time on Court: 9:56

Record in Finals: 92-48

Marin Cilic

Ranking: 6

Age: 28

Head-to-head record: 1-6

Grand Slams: 1

2017 Record: 29-13

Career Grand Slam Record: 94-36

Career Grass-court Record: 60-25

2017 Wimbledon Games Lost (Average Ranking of Opponents): 91 (No. 46)

Time on Court: 14:28

Record in Finals: 17-12

If Federer wins his 19th Slam title, he will become the No.3-ranked player in the world, while a Cilic victory will send him to a career-high No. 5.