Stan Wawrinka looks a real contender heading into Wimbledon’s second week, having crushed Fernando Verdasco to reach round four.
Their most recent matchup was at Acapulco in 2012 where Verdasco won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
This is the first time that the pair will meet outside clay and given Wawrinka’s momentum, he is an overwhelming favourite to make it into the fourth round. Wawrinka is winning at least 53 percent of his second serve points and has combined for 29 aces in his last two matches. The world No. 40 has had a historic year on the tour so far and would love to add an upset of the reigning French Open champion to his resume.
According to Wawrinka, it was not his best tennis, but reckoned that his performance was “generally okay. There are a lot of things I would like to be doing better but it’s important to get through”.
Verdasco, on the other hand, survived a five-setter match against 32nd-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem. He lost to Robin Haase 7-6(4) 6-3 in the ATP 250 event at s-Hertogenbosch in Netherlands and Andy Murray 7-5 6-4 in the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.
There was a shock of sorts when 11th seeded Grigor Dimitrov, conqueror of Andy Murray in last season’s quarter-finals, went out to 21st seed Richard Gasquet in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-4. However, Wawrinka has made it out of the fourth round of the Wimbledon just once.
Wawrinka will need to use his strong backhand and offensive backline strokes to shut out Verdasco.
Next up for Wawrinka will be Belgium’s 16th seed David Goffin, who is also yet to drop a set in three matches and polished off Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(3) 6-1 6-1.