Berankis vs. Wawrinka
|Date & Time||Monday January 15, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Stan Wawrinka and Ricardas Berankis meet in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.
Stan Wawrinka has not played since his first round exit at Wimbledon, as he’s been recovering from knee surgery. Wawrinka also hasn’t played a hard court match since Miami. Needless to say, there’s giant question marks surrounding the 2014 Australian Open champion, and you should watch a few of his matches before putting some money on him in terms of futures. In grand slams, Wawrinka is one of those players who gets better the more matches he gets under his belt, so if he can survive the first week or so, he’ll be a threat assuming his knee holds up. Wawrinka has never lost in the first round of the Australian Open. Wawrinka has won six of his last eight matches on hard court.
Ricardas Berankis has five matches under his belt already this season, which should provide some advantage for the 27-year-old, as many of these guys are entering this tournament cold and not playing in months. Unfortunately, Berankis is just 6-8 on the main tour dating back to last season and is 10-19 in grand slam matches for his career. It goes without saying a victory for Berankis here would be the biggest win of his career. Berankis has made it to the second round of a grand slam just once since 2016. Berankis has two career wins over top-10 players, both coming against Milos Raonic. Berankis has lost five of his last seven matches on hard court.
This will be the first time these two meet on the tennis court.
Like Djokovic, you have no idea what to expect from Wawrinka, as it’s not easy to go from not playing for months to being thrown into a grand slam. Most players would like to get a few matches under their belt before the big events. So, tread lately with Wawrinka and others until you have a better idea of what you’re seeing. As for this match, Wawrinka should win, as Berankis is one of those guys who has better success in challenger play than on the big stage.
I’ll take Wawrinka in straight sets.