Once again, Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka will be faced with a surprisingly difficult opening match at a tournament, as he meets Austria’s latest talent Dominic Thiem on Wednesday afternoon. This marks just the second time that these two competitors will meet on the tour, with Thiem leading the head to head series 1-0 with a upset victory in Madrid earlier in the season.
Since losing to Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final round of the US Open, Stan Wawrinka has been unable to pick up a single win on the ATP World Tour. He lost his opening match in Tokyo to Tatsuma Ito, followed up with an opening round loss to Gilles Simon in Shanghai, and most recently lost to Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening round of the Swiss Indoor Basel. Now on a three-match losing streak, Wawrinka will be determined to end his season on a relatively high note.
In a rollercoaster contest, Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Dolgopolov 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 to reach the second round of the Paris Bercy. The Austrian won 72% of his first service points and saved 4 of 6 break point opportunities again him to close out the match in 1 hour and 26 minutes.
Back at the Mutua Madrid Masters, then-qualifier Thiem recorded the biggest career win when he stunned Wawrinka 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the tournament. That was the pairings only ever meeting on the ATP World Tour, and could serve as an ominous sign for the Swiss star. He is clearly tired and fatigued and could be faced with another grueling three-set encounter in his opening match in Paris.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Three Sets