In a repeat of last year’s semi final at this event, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka will face off after qualifying first and second respectively in their groups.
Wawrinka sealed his place in the knockout stage last night with a win over Andy Murray 7-6 6-4. It was a remarkable turnaround from the opening match of his group where he put in a tame performance in defeat to Rafael Nadal. After winning five consecutive points in the first set tiebreak to take the set, Wawrinka was in control of the match. An early break was all he would need in the second to see off the Scot.
Meanwhile, Federer’s three set win over Kei Nishikori ensured he would go into the semi finals unbeaten. It wasn’t the best of performances from Federer who let 4-1 leads slip in both the second and third sets of the 7-5 4-6 6-4 win, managing to correct things in the third set to get the win.
While they had an outstanding match last year in which Federer saved multiple match points, it was somehow overshadowed by goings on off court in which Federer’s wife was accused of heckling Wawrinka during the match. It took the shine off a stunning 4-6 7-5 7-6(6) victory for Federer who unfortunately then had to withdraw from the final with injury.
The last few matches have sprung some life into what was a matchup dominated by Federer. Federer still leads the head to head 17-3 and but since the beginning of 2014, when it became a top 10 matchup, he is 4-2 with Wawrinka becoming more competitive against his fellow Swiss. However, both these matches were on the clay and Federer won their last meeting at this year’s US Open comprehensively, 6-4 6-3 6-1.
Wawrinka has shown improvements over the week but there is no doubt that Federer has been one of the best two players this week and should be looking to take advantage of any drop in performance level from Wawrinka. If there is, it’s unlikely this one will be as much of a classic as last year and could well end quite quickly.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets