With Andy Murray now also out, Stan Wawrinka will feel he is in with a great chance of topping the World No.1’s three slam titles as well as picking up his second Australian Open title too. He plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has gone about his business quietly in the opening week to exceed expectations by making the quarter-final as No.12 seed. See their previous H2H matches with stats here.
While Tsonga has dropped a set in three of his four matches so far, he hasn’t really looked in danger of losing as of yet. Two of them were at 2-0 up while his first set loss to Dan Evans was despite him controlling large parts of the match. He would go on to break immediately in the second and cruise from thereon. “Before the match I knew if the match start to be really physical, it’s going to be on my side. The first set was difficult. Then I played pretty strong and make him run a lot in the second set.” said Tsonga. Evans did not get a single break point in the final two sets as his impressive run ended at the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka hasn’t quite been outstanding – needing five sets in round one to beat Martin Klizan. He won in three sets against Andreas Seppi to make the quarters, edging out the Italian in three separate tiebreaks. Despite the expectation that he should be, the Swiss doesn’t feel extra pressure about the way the draw has gone for him. “I don’t know why I should feel more pressure. It’s big surprise that they not in the draw anymore, but my next match is the quarterfinal. I’m not thinking about semi or final, that I will not have to play Andy or Novak. That’s the last thing in my head.” he said.
The Swiss is most certainly the favourite here and has proven in the past few years that he remains a legitimate slam contender at three of the slams. The way the draw has opened up further for him will provide him with extra focus and it would be a surprise to see him falter at this stage. Wawrinka is 4-3 overall and on a three match winning streak against Tsonga although they have not met on an outdoor hard court on any of those occasions with six of them coming on clay.
Wawrinka in four sets