Despite being World No.1, very few had much faith in Andy Murray living up his seeding and make the final. Fast forward 11 days and he has made the semi finals, knocking off a number of tricky opponents to do so. He is the slight underdog against Stan Wawrinka, who has been very under the radar for a former champion.
The hype may be over Nadal’s sets streak and rightly so but Wawrinka has bettered that at 17, adding to his comeback win in Geneva with 5 straight sets wins in a row. Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils and now Marin Cilic have been outplayed in consecutive rounds, the last win the most impressive after dropping just 7 games in a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory. “Since I won in Geneva I found confidence with my game,” said Wawrinka “I never give up. I work hard. I try to do what’s right. I listen to my team. The past two or three weeks have been very good momentum. I’m playing really well. I’m very calm. I’m extremely confident about my game.
It was another up and down performance for Murray, who eventually came through in 4 sets to defeat Kei Nishikori in 4 sets, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(0), 6-1. The turning point was definitely in the third set when Murray cruised through the tie break, avoiding a let down after blowing the opportunity to serve out the set at *6-5. “I didn’t feel like I played great tennis today. It’s a huge step in the right direction for me,” he said. “Anyone can win matches when they are playing well. It’s winning when you’re not playing your best is more impressive.”
“Andy defeated me last year. He was playing better. Now the conditions are a little different. I think he’s probably a bit less confident, a bit more hesitant. Hopefully I can take advantage of that and find solutions to beat him.” Stan said of his opponent. The head to head tells an interesting story with Murray currently leading that 10-7. Murray won both their matches last year including this one at the very same stage. He was a 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2 winner there and matching that would go a long way to kickstarting the Scots season and reignite some faint hopes of a career grand slam for the No.1 player.
Prediction – Andy Murray in 4 sets