Juan Monaco and Stan Wawrinka meet Thursday in the round of 16 at the Rome Masters.
Juan Monaco is coming off a three set victory over Kevin Anderson and has dropped one set this tournament. After a rough 2014 and 2015, it looks like Monaco is starting to get back to form, as he’s won seven of his last eight matches and is coming off a U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships title. Monaco was once a top-10 player a few years ago but has seriously struggled with consistency and was just downright awful the past two seasons. However, these past few tournaments could be a turning point for the 32-year-old and just what he needs to get back on track. Monaco has reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters just once, which was in 2009.
Stan Wawrinka is coming off a three set victory over Benoit Paire and will now play his second match of the tournament. Wawrinka is just trying to find his form before the French Open, as he’s lost four of his last seven matches. Wawrinka has simply struggled since winning the Dubai Championships a couple of months ago and kind of needs success in this tournament in order to install confidence before he defends his grand slam crown. When in form, we know what Wawrinka is capable of, but he must limit his unforced errors. Wawrinka has reached the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters just once since 2011.
These two have met five times, and Wawrinka has won all of those contests. The most recent match was in the 2015 Rome Masters. Monaco has won two sets against Wawrinka, and this will be the fifth time they meet on clay court.
Monaco is playing some of his best tennis in years, but he’s had zero success against Wawrinka and likely isn’t ready to change that just yet. I like Wawrinka to get the job done here.