Tsonga vs Wawrinka by Rostick
Looking at Tsonga’s road to the semis it`s hard to argue with the Frenchman’s form – he wasn`t expected to do much here, coming after an injury, but won his first 3 matches in straight sets, dominated Berdych in 4 and routed Nishikori in 5. Obviously Tsonga couldn`t have reached the semifinals without playing solid tennis, but watching him play, I can definitely state that he`s not in the form of his life and he has been fortunate to reach this stage. Great shotmaking, but also unforced errors and blackout moments.
The win against Berdych was deserved and Tsonga should have won in straight sets, but fact is it was very windy and Berdych is one of the worst top 10 players in the history of the sport in windy conditions, truly awful. I have seen at least 4 dreadful performances from him in the wind and against Tsonga it was another one. Strange, as Berdych should be able to power his way trough the wind, but such conditions affect his positioning, which is the real key to his game. In the quarters Tsonga benefited from Nishikori playing abysmal tennis in the first two sets, Kei was missing everything. Once the Japanese got going he leveled it 2-2 and if he played at a good level for the whole match he would have won it – but credit to Tsonga for closing it out in the decider.
Wawrinka`s performance against Federer in the quarters was nothing short of brilliant. Stat played at the same level he did when he won the Australian Open and gave Federer no chance. Indeed, Roger could have played better, but it wasn`t the worst performance from Federer – it was all about Wawrinka and I was particularly impressed by Stan’s ability to close it out in the third set without blinking against a Federer that was playing better and better. Wawrinka held serve for the entire match and was virtually flawless, painting the lines with top consistency.
The Head 2 Head is tied at 3-3, but Wawrinka leads 3-2 on clay and he won the previous two meetings – the last one in convincing fashion in last years’ Davis Cup final. Granted, Tsonga was not fully fit back than, but Stan is clearly the better player between the two right now and one can argue that he knows how to play Tsonga given the all around favorable Head 2 Head advantage – considering that in most of their meetings Tsonga was the more fancied player.
At his current level of tennis Wawrinka is virtually unstoppable, especially by a Tsonga who is playing well, but not particularly impressive. There`s a difference between solid form and grand slam winning form and that’s pretty much the difference between Tsonga and Wawrinka today, with the additional argument that in 2015 Wawrinka is also the better player. Look for Stan to continue his imperial serving performance against a guy that doesn’t return well, while the Swiss will also have his chances on the Tsonga serve – especially on the second serve.
This time Tsonga meets an opponent who is in great form, not likely to collapse like Nishikori and who won`t be troubled by the projected light wind like Berdych (Wawrinka was superb during wind with Federer). Watching these two play, it`s really hard to see Tsonga realistically challenging for the win – he`s just not good enough right now. Also, Wawrinka was not influenced by the hostile crowd against Federer, so this shouldn`t be an issue. He was also stone cold in finishing the match, while Jo Wilfried chocked with both Berdych and Nishikori before eventually winning.
Honestly my top choice here would be -1,5 set handicap on Waw with 10 units, but the bet is not available at the bookies I can choose from and I`m more than comfortable in tipping Wawrinka 3-0. I don`t think the Swiss will lose a set. Prediction: Jo Wilfried Tsonga – Stan Wawrinka 6-7 2-6
|Wawrinka -2,5 set hc.||Pinnacle||3.33||8||1-3 LOST (-8 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.