The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sets of the men's final were fine indeed. The first set was a gimme to Federer, and the final set was anticlimactic. Appreciated that it went five sets but was also less than four hours. That can't happen with most pairings. It's either one or both who fart around in-between every point. Nadal is the worst. Murray is like a child and constantly needs to squawk, or to be coddled, by his box. It's a weakness that I do not respect in either men or women. Like they talked about during the broadcast, one of the greatest aspects of Federer is his cognitive ability to recognize, and then to alter, his game. He does this on his own, on the court, by himself. Sure, he has a bigger set of tools than most, but like a chess player, he's mindful of what is happening in himself, in his opponent, in the energy of the room, etc. He's playing many hands at all time. He's brilliant like that.
Cilic was hitting him off the court. Pure power. The thing about that is, that when you have to hit that hard to win, you usually cannot maintain that for an entire match, which is what we watched in this match. The moment your timing is off just a smidge, that tactic is finished. You're back to your regular game, and Cilic's regular game cannot match Federer.
I was in utter, complete amazement of Federer's half-volley ability. He was immortal in that regard in the third set. Not human. It's part of how he plays, and NOT part of how most everyone else in the history of tennis plays (because it is a f*cking hard thing to do for even professionals), but that aside, he is the greatest half-volleyer in the history of tennis as far as I'm concerned. Nobody else can consistently control, and with precision and/or returned power, a half-volley that was cracked at them at 100+mph...and off both sides. And...AND...because his hands are so good, he can play another step inside the court, making a lot of these half-volleys happen behind him by a bit. He's actually half-volleying behind himself and reaching back a tad. You can't teach that. That third set was liking watching the finest ballet. Art. Period.