In what looks on paper to be one of the clashes of week one, Juan Martin Del Potro and Stan Wawrinka face off to begin the days play on Centre Court on Friday. It is obviously incredibly rare for grand slam champions to meet at such an early stage of a tournament but that is what will happen due to Del Potro’s fall down the rankings due to injury.
Wawrinka navigated a tricky first round match against the upstart Taylor Harry Fritz, coming out on top in four sets. Despite losing his only warm up match against Fernando Verdasco at Queens, Wawrinka is far from worried and actually fairly confident coming into the tournament.
“My form is good. I’m practicing well, playing well. I have a lot of time on grass. Now I just want to win some matches.” the Swiss said.
He will be playing an opponent who has had a few more matches on the grass but also lost their opening round in Queens. Del Potro made the semi finals of Stuttgart, picking up wins against Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov and John Millman. Before his initial wrist injury, Del Potro never pulled up many on trees on grass but did manage a Wimbledon semi final in 2013, losing to Novak Djokovic in five sets.
While three years ago, it suggests he can trouble the best on this surface if fit and ready. If he can ever regain his slam winning level, it makes for a far more exciting time on the tour. However, on this occasion he may just come up short for the first time in four meetings.
Prediction – Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets