Johnson vs. Wawrinka
|Date & Time||Monday May 14, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Stan Wawrinka and Steve Johnson meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.
Stan Wawrinka is still trying to get his feet under him after spending so much time away from the sport due to injury. Wawrinka has played just seven matches this season, is 3-4 and will play his first match of the year on clay. Wawrinka has lost each of his last three matches and is coming off a performance in Marseille that he had to retire due to knee pain. Wawrinka clearly isn’t the Wawrinka of old and will need time before returning to form. It’s a work in progress for the 33-year-old three-time grand slam champion. Wawrinka has won 10 of his last 11 matches on clay court.
Steve Johnson will play for the first time this month and is coming off his third career singles title in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships. Johnson beat talented Americans in John Isner and Frances Tiafoe to get to the final and managed to win four three set matches. Johnson has had an up and down season so far, but he’s clearly found his rhythm in his last tournament and should be rather confident heading into this match. It all comes down to Johnson’s service ability, as the rest of his game falls in place when he’s hitting his spots and allowing his power game to win easy points. Johnson has been broken a combined seven times in his last five matches. Johnson has won seven of his last eight matches on clay court.
These two have played twice and Wawrinka has won both meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Australian Open, a match Wawrinka won in straight sets. Wawrinka is 6-0 against Johnson in sets played.
You’re never quite sure what you’re going to get from Wawrinka, but it’s an even bigger question considering he walked off the court in tears the last time we saw him. Wawrinka isn’t in great form and isn’t fully recovered from his injury. Johnson is fresh off a title and has won seven of his last eight matches on clay. I have to pick the healthier player in better form.
Give me Johnson.