Armstrong is lightning-quick. Andy himself said he hates it because it's "twenty times quicker" than the other courts. How can this be allowed?
That statement is pretty exaggerated even if it comes from Andy. Yesterday's conditions were heavy which made the courts play slower. The Mac brothers and Brad talked about it all throughout different matches and it remained heavy all night. So Armstrong wasn't playing any faster; in fact, a bit slower than usual. Also, if this was true than it doesn't explain why Andy typically almost always struggle against Cilic. Dropped the 1st at the Australian Open as well (no Armstrong there). And also, how do you explain his similar performance at AA in the 1st round? He dropped his serve several times in the 1st set alone. The difference was his opponent wasn't as good as Cilic so he couldn't get ahead like Cilic.
This sudden drop of level was a combination of the facts that, one, Andy is a notorious slow starter; two, he didn't like the sudden change of court but not the court itself as he likes a bigger crowd/attention etc.; third, Cilic always gives him trouble and he doesn't like playing Cilic, Because of those reasons, he couldn't get into the match until it was so late that he had to realize that it was slipping away from him. And it doesn't make you comfortable knowing that Cilic has beaten him here once before. And of course, Andy loves this event so he wasn't going to go away so easily. All that pumped him up eventually during the 2nd set when he was 5-1 behind. The realization and subsequently the transition came in the 7th game of the 2nd set. Cilic realized it as well once he saw Andy acting differently and going for his shots and was beaten mentally right there. He knows Andy's the better player and can only beat him if he has some sort of injury or if he's off form and Andy's body language and his negative attitude did give him some hope, but once Andy got a good hold of himself and got into the match, it was all over for Cilic. The result was never in doubt after that.