Roger Federer was beaten by Marin Cilic at the US Open in 2014
Federer and Cilic have met just six times in the professional ranks and the last time they met was here at Wimbledon.
The 35-year-old needed five sets to dispense with Cilic at the quarter-final stage of the 2016 tournament in SW19, coming from 2-0 down and facing match point in the fourth-set tie-break.
Federer would go on to be beaten by Milos Raonic in the semi-final, the same stage at which he played Cilic at the US Open two years previous.
“He smoked me at the US so let’s hope he doesn’t play like that again,” Federer said earlier this week.
Wimbledon 2017: Celebs enjoy the tennis Thu, July 13, 2017
Wimbledon 2017: Celebrities enjoy the annual tennis event.
Play slideshow WireImage 1 of 57
Wimbledon 2017: Carole Middleton arrives on day nine of the tennis tournament
Three years ago, a place in the final against Kei Nishikori, who had beaten Novak Djokovic, was at stake. For all the Japanese player’s talents, it was a huge opportunity for Federer or Cilic to win the competition.
The Croatian had already been through the ringer on his way to the last four – big server Kevin Anderson had taken him to four sets in the third round and No26 seed Gilles Simon went the distance with him before Cilic triumphed 6-3 in the fifth. But he had beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets in the quarter-final to set up the Federer match, in stark contrast to the Swiss’ own last-eight contest.
After serene progress through the first week, Federer came up against Gael Monfils. The Frenchman took a two-set lead but could not finish the job and Federer got through in five.
Marin Cilic secured his first ever Grand Slam final place with a win over Roger Federer
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Roger Federer lost at the US Open – but Wimbledon is his turf
Cilic arrived having never beaten Federer although he had taken a set off him at the 2011 US Open and with Goran Ivanisevic heading up his coaching team, he had never served better.
The first set took the Croatian just 28 minutes to win in a windy, unsettling Flushing Meadows behind a meaty first serve – only twice was Federer able to win a point when Cilic landed first time in that opening half hour.
But that was nothing compared to the second set, when every single Cilic first serve led to a Cilic point. By comparison, the 25-year-old was jumping all over Federer's own serve. He may only have broken the legendary player once in the second set but the pressure, on second serve in particular, was huge as Cilic’s forehand grew in confidence.
The cumulative effect of that pressure became evident in what ended up being the final set. Federer’s first serve percentage dropped below 50 while Cilic’s just seemed to get bigger and bigger. He did break back for the first and only time in the match but immediately found himself break point down and backed up behind the Cilic forehand once again.
And when it came to serving out the match, Cilic showed all the poise of a man much older than he. Having allowed Federer his easiest hold of the match, preserving energy at 5-3 up, Cilic served three consecutive aces before missing at 40-0, but finding a winner to seal a shock win.
Too long a prodigy, the Croatian stood behind on the baseline with his arms aloft, having downed one of New York’s favourites in well under two hours.