Louis Armstrong Stadium 11am local time
Although on paper this looks a fairly ordinary clash, it has the potential to be one of the matches of the round if both players can bring their best tennis. Wawrinka can arguably lay claim to being part of the best matches in both Australia (vs Djokovic) and France (vs Gasquet) this year.
While not dropping a set to date this tournament, it hasn’t exactly been straight forward for Wawrinka so far. He had to recover from breaks down in both opening sets of his matches. Radek Stepanek faded after losing in a first set tiebreak, eventually going down 7-6 6-3 6-2. Ivo Karlovic couldn’t repeat the performance that saw him retire James Blake and would go down 7-5 7-6 6-4 despite having set points in the second set. However, Baghdatis will offer a slightly different threat to these two who like to approach the net much more.
It’s been a strange year for Marcos Baghdatis who has been out of form all summer. His ten match losing streak was ended at the beginning of the US Open Series but defeats like 6-1 1-6 1-6 to Fabio Fognini did little to inspire any confidence of a run here. However, after making light work of Go Soeda in straight sets he would go on to deliver one of the performances of the tournament to take apart big serving Kevin Anderson for the loss of just six games. He hit just 13 unforced errors to 34 winners and looked much more like the top 10 players that he once was.
The question will be – can Baghdatis repeat the performance of the last round? It seems unlikely the way his year has gone but if he does he will definitely give the 9th seed a run for his money. Stan leads the head to head 2-0 with their most recent being a four setter at the Australian Open last year.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 4 sets
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