Following an entertaining week of matches, Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych will cross paths in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Sunday. This marks their 16th meeting on the ATP World Tour, and Wawrinka will look to add to his 10-5 lead in the head-to-head series.
In one of his better showings this week, Stan Wawrinka squeezed past Canadian no. 1 Milos Raonic in straight sets 7-6(3), 7-6(7) to reach the final in Rotterdam – a tournament he had not participated in in a decade. The Swiss No. 2 struck 25 winners, 10 aces and did not allow any of the six break points he faced to get past him. The contest lasted a total of 98 minutes.
“In general, I’ve been playing really well,” said Wawrinka. “I’ve been really aggressive and moving well in the rallies. I served well when I was (against) a break point. It’s only one or two points that make the difference and I played a good tie-break.”
Wawrinka will come up against Tomas Berdych, who reached the final with a straightforward victory against Gilles Simon. He defeated the Frenchman 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes to put himself just one match away from retaining the indoor title. His service games were solid, and Berdych even converted 4 of 5 break points to add to his 14 winners.
“My game was good and the game plan was even better,” said Berdych. “It was a very good game. I need to keep going as there is still one more match to go. I want to go all the way.”
While Berdych has been a force on the tour so far this season, he will have his work cut out for him against Wawrinka, a player who has dominated their rivalry over the past while. Apart from a 10-5 lead in the head-to-head series, Wawrinka has won eight of their last nine meetings, including a thrashing at the World Tour Finals in London.
“I’ve been improving, but he’s been playing really well at the beginning of the year,” Wawrinka said of Berdych. “He won here last year so he will be very dangerous. I need to play my best game to have a chance to beat him.”
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Three Sets