For the first time this season, the Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka will cross paths on the professional tour, this time to determine who will advance to the final of the Rome Masters 100 event. Federer leads the overall head to head series 15-2.
With little fuss, Roger Federer found himself in the semi-final stage in Rome following a straight sets victory against Tomas Berdych. Federer hit 15 winners to close out the match 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 7 minutes of court time.
“From the baseline I was playing very well,” said Federer. “My serve was not quite there in the beginning. I had to go through too many second serves and he was able to take advantage of that and break early. For me, it was important to pick it up on the serve, which is maybe the easiest thing to do.
“I felt good again on the return, moving well. As it went on, I think I got into the match better and better. The wind picked up in the second set. That’s why I think Tomas didn’t play so well anymore and I was able to get the job done. So I’m very pleased how the match went.”
In one of the more surprising matches on court this past Friday, Stan Wawrinka produced one of his best matches of the season to hand Nadal his fifth loss on clay this season. It was a match-up that Wawrinka closed out in straight sets 7-6(7), 6-2. He won 59% of his first service points and stuck 25 winners to close out his first win against Nadal on clay in two hours and five minutes. The story of the match was the Swiss No. 2’s volley’s, as he came to the net 28 times and used it as a marvelous strategy to not only mount a comeback from 2-6 down in the first set tiebreak, but use it to propel himself to match point shortly thereafter.
This marks the 18th time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Federer leading the head-to-head series 15-2. Federer won their most recent encounter en route to the World Tour Finals last season but also lost their most recent clay court encounter at last year’s Monte Carlo final. It will be interesting to see if Stan, who is coming off one of his best clay court wins to date, can carry that momentum forward.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets