An interesting clash between Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka and towering Croat Marin Cilic is scheduled to take place in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday afternoon. This marks the eighth time they will meet on the ATP World Tour, with Wawrinka leading the head-to-head series 5-2. This will be their first encounter in nearly three years.
World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka may have begun his season with his career-best showing at the Australian Open to lift the title in Melbourne, but it has been a turbulent few months ever since. Most recently, the Swiss No. 1 almost cost the Swiss Davis Cup team a chance at the semi-finals, after dropping his opening rubber against Kazakh player Andrey Golubev. He would then continue his questionable play into the second day of the tie, where he helped lose the doubles rubber. He would recover on the third day to win his rubber, yet it was clear that Wawrinka was feeling the pressure of his new ranking.
Wawrinka best win-loss record is on the red clay surface, where he is 130-68 throughout his career. He will be looking to regain his comfort this week to prepare himself for the French Open.
World No. 27 Marin Cilic has been a resurgent force in 2014, as he lifted titles in Zagreb and Delray Beach before the end of the first two months of the season. He would follow up by reaching the fourth round at Indian Wells, but would lose in the second round of the Sony Open. Arriving at Monte Carlo with a 7-6 record at the tournament, Cilic began his week by dispatching of recent title winner Fernando Verdasco’s replacement, lucky loser Marinko Matosevic in three sets to set up his second round encounter with the top ranked Swiss.
This marks the eighth time they will meet on the ATP World Tour, with Wawrinka leading the head-to-head series 5-2. This will be their first encounter in nearly three years. Cilic is 0-3 against Wawrinka on clay, and has only ever defeated the Swiss on hard court.
Prediction: Stanislas Wawrinka in Three Sets