I'm not going to worry too much about Andy physically for this one. I think he's through the struggles with the heat now, I really do.
Andy struggled in the 1st round with the heat and humidity. I also think he was really nervous. Maybe he felt pressure from himself after the Olympics win. Maybe he felt anxious after not having the time on the hard courts he might have had due to pulling out of Toronto and then losing to Chardy in Cincy. We don't know. However, the fact is, whatever the issues, he toughed it out and won in just over 2 hours. I know the score-line doesn't tell the story, but still. A win is a win.
Andy played extremely well against Dodig in the second round. He was brilliant and played with confidence. A great win.
The tricky one was the Lopez match, where Andy didn't play badly by any stretch of the imagination. If he had he would have lost. Lopez, on the other hand, played out of his skin. Yes, Andy struggled physically at times, but it was almost 100 degrees out there. Spectators were leaving because they couldn't sit in the heat. The fact is though that in three of the four sets Andy was right with Lopez and won the tie-breaks, i.e. the points that really mattered. Sometimes that is what it is about. Towards the end of the match Andy was playing some brilliant stuff. I still feel this one played Andy in to form.
Then there was Raonic. Once Andy got the break in the first set he didn't look back. Sublime stuff from him. Nothing more need be said really lol.
Now for Cilic. I do expect this one to be closer than Wimbledon. That said, at Wimbledon the first set was close for a time. Then Andy put his foot down and that was it. If we get Andy in the sort of form he showed against Raonic I think it will be straight sets to Andy. If Andy is a bit off Cilic might win a set.
I know head to heads don't mean much. I know Cilic has beaten Andy once before at the USO. Interestingly, I've just had a 'discussion' somewhere else with someone who implied I was using Andy's wrist injury as an excuse for the loss in 09. I wasn't, but there we are. The fact is though, if you are injured it can have a bearing on your performance. I would have thought that was obvious. Also, Andy used to get so wound up then. With all due respect, that would have given Cilic confidence that his man was not only injured, but frustrated as well.
Nowadays Andy stays calm when it counts. He can lift his game on those big points. He's done it all the way through the tournament so far. He looks confident now, and in good shape. I might be crazy to say it, but to my mind the way Andy has responded to the challenges he has faced so far tells me that he is in the form of his life. Flattening Raonic proves it. I'm cautiously optimistic that Andy will get through this one, and if it has to cost him a set, so be it, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does it in straights.