The world No. 3 won his first Grand Slam title earlier this season on Melbourne, before managing another first-time achievement when he won his first Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo. At that event, he would rally from a set down in the final to defeat 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. Wawrinka is now at a career-high of No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, which also means that he has usurped the Swiss No. 1 title from Federer.
While that portion of his season was magnificently successful, since then, Wawrinka has won one match on the tour, as he suffered a highly unexpected loss to Dominic Thiem in his opening match in Madrid and followed up with a third round loss to Tommy Haas in Rome.
Wawrinka’s first opponent in the Paris draw will be Guillermo Garcia Lopez. The Spaniard won the Casablanca title last month, before he arrived in Monte-Carlo to pick up wins over Alexandr Dolgopolov and Tomas Berdych before losing to Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final. H would follow up with a first round loss in Portugal but would once again rebound with a win in Madrid before suffering an exit to runner-up Kei Nishikori.
This will mark the seventh time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. While Wawrinka leads the overall series 4-2, they are even at 2-2 in clay court competition on the ATP World Tour. Wawrinka won the most recent red dirt meeting in the 2013 Casablanca Open, while Garia-Lopez’s last clay court win against the Swiss was in 2011. This is a surprisingly intriguing contest to start the week in Paris, and it will be interesting to see if Wawrinka can overcome his dreadful performances in Madrid and Rome.
Prediciton: Stan Wawrinka in Four Sets