BNP Paribas Masters Semi-Final Preview Novak Djokovic Vs Stan Wawrinka
The last time Novak Djokovic (1) and Stan Wawrinka (4) met in Paris, the Swiss produced a stunning upset in the Roland Garros final. Today the two will meet once again in the French Capital but this time indoors in the Paris-Bercy stadium. The Tennis Review previews their upcoming BNP Paribas Masters Semi-final and predicts the winner.
History: Stan Wawrinka’s defeat of Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros final is the stand-out result of the rivalry between these two.
Djokovic leads the head to head by a commanding 20-4, but the last two Wawrinka wins have been big ones, and none bigger than denying Djokovic, who had beaten Nadal so comfortably to make the Roland Garros final, the missing Slam from his collection.
Wawrinka produced stunning attacking tennis that day in Paris, coming back from a set down to bombard a tentative Djokovic.
Wawrinka’s other big wins over Djokovic came in the quarter-finals of the 2014 Australian Open on his run to his first Slam title, and it is at the slams were Wawrinka has always produced his best versus Djokovic, taking him to five sets at the Australian Open and US Open in 2013.
The story has been different at ATP 1000s- Novak leads 9-0 including a comprehensive win over the Swiss at Bercy in 2013. However, Wawrinka, like Djokovic, is having his best season ever, and may be hungry to finish it in style, a quality he has in abundance.
Form coming in: Wawrinka scored another big career win when he came back from a slow start to defeat a fighting-fit Rafael Nadal 7-6, 7-6 in the Bercy quarters. The Swiss has been playing the big points well this week, also defeating Bernard Tomic and Viktor Troicki in close straight setters.
Novak Djokovic has been edging tight straight setters, too, getting past an impressive Tomas Berdych 7-6, 7-6 in their quarter-final. That victory was Djokovic’s 20th consecutive win, and his 13th straight set win in a row.
Who should win: Djokovic. His recent run, stretching back to the US Open and involving defeats of Federer, Nadal, and Murray, have come in favorable conditions, and few are more favorable to Djokovic than slow indoor hard courts. The Serb has all the time in the world to get into a rhythm from the baseline, plot his moves inside the court, and to really tee off on the returns. He also has the fluffy heavy balls he likes and no wind to interfere with his execution.
However, if anyone is going to put another dent into what may go down as the greatest season ever, it is going to be Stan Wawrinka.
Stan could win if: Stan also has a liking for high bouncing slow courts and heavy balls- see his slam wins in Melbourne and Paris- and few have mastered the art of attacking in such conditions.
The Swiss must be feeling confident after his win over Nadal, a win which saw him string together beautiful sequences of points in big moments, and if Stan is feeling inspired on a slow court in Paris against Djokovic then he could spring another upset.
Prediction: Djokovic to win in three sets. While Wawrinka thrives in being the underdog in five setters on big stages, Djokovic rules when it comes to being the favorite in three setters at ATP 1000s.
The Serbian should ride through Wawrinka’s purple patches and play the big points just that bit better when things get decisive.
Commentary by Christian Deverille.
Who do you think will win the Paris Bercy semi between Djokovic and Wawrinka? Let us know below.
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