Following surprisingly quick and painless second round matches, Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov will meet once again to determine who will advance to the next stage of the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event. This is the fourth time that the two will meet on the ATP World Tour, with Wawrinka leading the head-to-head series 2-1.
Seeded seventh at this event, the Monte Carlo defending champion Stan Wawrinka looked fantastic in his opening match in the 2015 campaign to retain his first clay court Masters crown. He began his week against Juan Monaco, whom he defeated 6-1, 6-4 in lopsided fashion. He lost just two of his first service points and looked confident in his abilities on the red dust surface.
“I think I play a great match,” said Wawrinka. “It’s a tough first round to play Monaco, but it’s a typical clay-court match… playing from the baseline. Over the past two months, [I have had] really difficultly with my game [and] with my confidence. I was happy to come on clay again. The conditions are great here.”
The Swiss No. 2 will next encounter Grigor Dimitrov, who faced little resistance from Italy’s Fabio Fognin in his second round match on Wednesday. He defeated the clay court specialist 6-4, 6-4 in a solid overall performance to set up the intriguing encounter. While it was a competitive affair for the most part, he struck four aces and won 83% of his first service points to earn the victory in 70 minutes.
“It was a pretty tight match, just one break in each set,” said Dimitrov. “He played quite well. All I could do was stay focused and composed. I’m just taking it match-by-match, considering I’ve not won that many this year. I’m working on my movement on court and on my shots.”
This marks the fourth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Wawrinka leading the series 2-1. Wawrinka won their initial two meetings, one on hard court and one on clay, but their most recent match-up took place last year at Queen’s Club, where Dimitrov was able to overcome his adversary for the first time en route to the tournament final. However, that win does not do much to prepare him against the Swiss on clay, a surface that Wawrinka is particularly dangerous on when he is in form.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Three Sets