|French Open 2014|
|Stan Wawrinka  (SUI)||vs||Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)|
ScheduleMonday, 26 May 2014 at 12:00 GMT / 13:00 UK / 17:30 IST
VenueCourt Philippe Chatrier, Roland Garros
Recently crowned Australian Open victor Stanislas Wawrinka fronts up for his next Grand Slam event in Paris, taking on Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round.
2014 has been Wawrinka's breakthrough year. He scored an early tournament victory in Chennai, prior to his maiden grand slam in Melbourne, defeating all the big guns along the way (Djokovic, Berdych and Nadal). His run from January through to May has been steady for the most part, with a solid performance to win Monte Carlo, defeating good friend and compatriot Roger Federer in the final.
That victory has been tempered with some surprising defeats in between. Notably losing to 70th ranked but up and coming Austrian Dominic Thiem in the round of 32 at Madrid, Kevin Anderson at Indian Wells, Alexander Dolgopolov at Miami, and Tommy Haas at Rome. All players that the world number 3 probably should have put away.
Looking at Wawrinka's career record, he's won 4 clay court tournaments with an overall win/loss record of 135 to 70. Arguably, his record on clay is better than on hard courts, and he himself considers it to be his best surface. Stan's best performance at Roland Garros came last year with a quarter final appearance, losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 2-6, 3-6, 1-6.
Based on his Australian Open grand slam form, punters give Wawrinka a very good chance of going beyond last years quarter final, though this will depend on his side of the draw, with Fernando Lopez (#26), Gael Monfils (#23) and Italian Fabio Fognini (#14) likely to challenge up to at least the fourth round.
Let's look at his opponent Guillermo Garcia-Lopez from Spain. He's currently ranked 41 and has three titles to his name, including the recent 250 event in Casablanca, Morocco where he defeated Marcel Granollers 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Overall, Garcia-Lopez has a 95-98 win/loss record on clay, but two of those aforementioned three titles were won on clay, and he's currently 11 and 7 for the year on the red surface.
In the head-to-head match ups, Wawrinka and Garcia-Lopez have played each other eight times previously, with Wawrinka ahead six matches to two. Notably, the count gets closer on clay, Wawrinka ahead three matches to two. On form, it would be hard not to go past Wawrinka to take this out comfortably. He has bigger fish to fry and has a good draw until at least the quarter finals when things start getting interesting.
Wawrinka in three.
Well then, that was a disaster of mammoth proportions. Wawrinka bundled out in 4 sets, losing the fourth 0-6. 61 unforced errors, and a far cry from the bloke that won at Melbourne Park and Monte Carlo. Something was obviously not quite right with Stan today, either physically or mentally. Good on Guillermo though, he took his chances, and being gifted 61 points from Stan, that goes a long way toward winning.