An exciting second round contest between Swiss No. 1 Stanislas Wawrinka and Ivo Karlovic is set to take place at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This marks the fifth time the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Wawrinka leading the head-to-head series 3-1.
It has been a remarkable season so far for Stanislas Wawrinka. Following his title win in Chennai at the start of 2014, the Swiss star defied the odds in January to lift his maiden Grand Slam title with a four-set victory over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal. The win boosted Wawrinka to a career-high of No. 3 in the Emirate ATP Rankings, as well as past Federer as the new Swiss No. 1.
Wawrinka will be taking part in his first tournament since the Australian Open and will be looking to carry forth the momentum from his first Grand Slam title to produce a strong showing this week in Indian Wells. Having received a bye into the second round of the tournament, Wawrinka will begin his campaign against towering Croat Ivo Karlovic, where he will likely need to withstand a fair amount of aces to earn the victory.
Ivo Karlovic set up his second round clash with the Australian Open champion after defeating Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-4, 6-4 in 69 minutes. He has now reached the second round or better of six out of seven of the tournaments he has taken part in this season. His only first round exit came in Melbourne. The Croat will be looking for his second victory against Wawrinka when they clash tomorrow afternoon.
The two competitors have previously met on four occasions on the professional circuit, , with Wawrinka leading the head-to-head series 3-1. The Swiss recently beat Karlovic at the 2013 US Open in straight sets to reach the third round of the event. Considering his absence from competition for the past month, it is possible that Wawrinka will need three sets to dispatch of Ivo tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Stanislas Wawrinka in Three Sets