2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic used the age old combination to win his only career Grand Slam title—big serves and big forehands. Cilic's challenge has always been how to harness all that power without making a lot of errors. En route to the U.S. Open title last year, he showed just how difficult that can be and just how dangerous his game is when he gains that level of control.
In the first five rounds of the 2014 U.S. Open, Cilic hit 196 total winners and 200 total unforced errors. In his final two matches, Cilic hit 81 total winners and made just 50 unforced errors. He dropped his unforced error average from 40 per match to just 25 per match.
Cilic proved that power can dominate at the U.S. Open if it is combined with consistency, just as Stan Wawrinka did on slow red clay of Roland Garros when he overpowered Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to take the title. That’s what makes the men’s game at the majors so interesting—if one of the big hitters puts combines power and consistency at the right time, we could have another surprise champion in 2015.
Check SI.com's 2015 U.S. Open data hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for the U.S. Open. IBM captures and analyzes the data that powers all of the Grand Slams, as well as the digital platforms that extend the experience to fans around the world.