Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will attempt to alter his misfortunes on grass this season at the Wimbledon Championships, as he is scheduled to face Joao Sousa in his opening match at the prestigious event. It will mark the first time the two Europeans will meet on the World Tour, and could make for an exciting battle for the crowd at SW19.
Following a disappointing conclusion to his clay court season, Stan Wawrinka transitioned onto grass last week at the Aegon Championships, where he will begin his campaign against the resurgent Marcos Baghdatis. He would win that contest but would lose the following match I straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov, who eventually won the title a few days later.
The Swiss No. 1 has never got beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon and has lost in the first round in 2012 and 2013. This explains his lower seeding at the Championships.
“Wimbledon, they do what they want. For me it’s fine,” said Wawrinka when asked about the seeding system when he was at Queen’s Club last week where he made the semi-finals.
“I knew that with my past two years on grass I didn’t have any results, so for sure my ranking will drop a little bit for the seedings. At the end of the day, it doesn’t change much. You have to play well. You have to start the tournament well if you want to go far, and that’s simple.”
Portugal’s Joao Sousa is coming off a great week at the TopShelf Open, where he reached the semi-final round before losing to Benjamin Becker in straight sets. While he may not have earned the victory, he certainly got his fair share of on-court practice ahead of the season’s third Grand Slam event. He will be looking to put forth his best performance yet to overcome a particularly vulnerable player in Stan Wawrinka.
This is the first time that Sousa and Wawrinka will meet on the ATP World Tour and it could make for a very interesting contest. If one factors in Wawrinka’s lack of preparation due to his fever, Sousa could be primed to pick up a staggering upset win over the Grand Slam champion. Time will tell if that shall be the case.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Four Sets