Swiss No. 2 Stan Wawrinka managed to earn the victory and send himself into the second round of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club. His next on-court appearance will be a compelling match against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, whom he has lost his two most recent meetings against. The head-to-head series is currently tied 3-3 with all the matches being played on hard court. This is set to be their first grass court meeting.
Coming off a remarkable run at the French Open, where he put his first round loss in 2014 to shame with a fantastic fortnight in Paris to lift his second Grand Slam title in as many years, many believed that Wawrinka would have some trouble in his early transition onto clay. However, that was certainly far from the case on Tuesday, as he began his Aegon Championships campaign with a straight sets win against Nick Kyrgios. He struck nine aces, won 93% of his first service points and saved all three of the break points he faced on serve to close out the match 6-3, 6-4 in 49 minutes.
Wawrinka will come up against Kevin Anderson, the South African No. 1, who during his first match on grass came within a few points of losing to Lleyton Hewitt before he managed to break back in the second set to force a decider. There, he dominated the encounter to oust Hewitt from the Aegon Championships for the final time in the Australian’s professional career. He struck 22 aces, won 78% of his first service points and saved six of eight break points to close out the match 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2.
This marks the seventh time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with the head-to-head series tied at 3-3. Although Anderson won their two most recent meetings on the ATP World Tour, Wawrinka holds three other Masters 1000 wins against Anderson. Given Wawrinka’s recent performances, as well as his solid start on grass this season, he will likely be able to overturn his two-match losing streak to the South African.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Three Sets
Join the virtual tennis game: Tipster Competition