Not Before 4:30pm local
After David Ferrer was shocked in the quarter finals by Joao Sousa, the Malaysian Open has been blown wide open. Stanislas Wawrinka (Player Profile) is the highest remaining seed at No.2 and faces the No.5 seed Julien Benneteau (Player Profile). Benneteau leads the H2H with 3-2 .
Benneteau is still yet to win a title in his career and time is running out with his 32nd birthday nearing. A 0-8 record continues to haunt him with two most recent disappointments both coming against Argentinians on indoor courts. Juan Martin Del Potro defeated him in Rotterdam while he was a losing finalist at this very same tournament last year against Juan Monaco in three sets.
A very winnable final against Jurgen Melzer or Joao Sousa awaits for the victor. Benneteau is yet to drop a set in the tournament with straight sets victories over Pablo Andujar, Michal Przysiezny and Adrian Mannarino. Benneteau was taken to a tiebreak in the first two matches but found it easier against Mannarino with a 6-3 6-3 win. He would break five times in total although it has to be of concern that he failed to serve out both sets at the first time of asking.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka was far from convincing against Dmitry Tursunov in the quarter finals. He needed a third set tiebreak against the Russian to advance and twice had to hold to stay in the match. He came through 2-6 6-3 7-6 but will need to up his level against the Frenchman.
Prediction: Julien Benneteau in three sets