Johnson vs. Wawrinka
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 17, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Wawrinka -300 / Johnson +255 -- Over/Under:
Stan Wawrinka and Steve Johnson meet in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Stan Wawrinka is coming off a five set win over Martin Klizan that took 52 games to decide. In the victory, Wawrinka won 76 percent of his first serve points and 47 percent of his second serve points. Wawrinka was broken five times in the marathon match and racked up 43 unforced errors as well. It’s nice to see Wawrinka find a way to win in a match he could have easily lost, but the subpar play and the inconsistencies aren’t exactly a good thing if you had him making a deep tournament run. Also, while Wawrinka is in great shape and used to playing a lot of tennis, a five setter to start the year could backfire on him. Wawrinka has lost before the third round of a grand slam twice since 2014. Wawrinka has won 10 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
Steve Johnson is coming off a straight sets win over Federico Delbonis that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Johnson won 93 percent of his first serve points and 64 percent of his second serve points. Johnson played a very clean match that had just 19 unforced errors and 17 aces. If Johnson can also serve at such a high percentage, he has a chance to do some damage in this tournament. The fact Johnson spent such little time on the court should give him a huge fatigue advantage. Johnson has two career wins over top-10 players, both coming last year. Johnson has made the third round of a grand slam four times since 2015. Johnson has won five of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have met just once, was in the 2015 French Open, a match Wawrinka won in straight sets. The match took 27 games to decide. This will obviously be their first meeting on hard court.
Wawrinka is more than capable of turning things around and has shown over the years he’s fit to play long matches without much of an issue. But based on the start of the tournament and the way both guys looked, you have to consider backing Johnson for the upset. Johnson had his breakthrough last year and is more comfortable going against some of the top players. This is a more than winnable match for the American, and based on the rest advantage and the form overall, I’m backing Johnson for the big plus money.