Stanislas Wawrinkaand Gilles Simon meet Sunday in the fourth round of the 2015 French Open.
Stanislas Wawrinka has won two of his three matches in three sets, including his recent match over Steve Johnson. Wawrinka has played 27 or less games in two of his three matches and is coming off a match he was he had just 19 unforced errors. Wawrinka is hitting his winners and has won no less than 70 percent of his first serve points. Wawrinka is moving around well and nailing his fancy winners that make him dangerous against anybody. The only concern I have right now with Wawrinka is that he’s gotten no more than 58 percent of his first serves in play in a single match. Wawrinka has made it out of the fourth round of the French Open just once in his career.
Gilles Simon is coming off a five set victory over Nicolas Mahut. Simon has 85 winners in his last two matches and has a combined 14 aces overall in this tournament. Simon has won at least 71 percent of his first serve points and has limited himself to 28 or less unforced errors in two of his first three matches. Simon is playing some really clean tennis, but you must worry about stamina given that he has played 12 sets already through three matches. Also, like his opponent, Simon has gotten no more than 54 percent of his first serves in play. Simon has made it out of the fourth round a major just once in his career, which was the 2009 Australian Open.
These two have played five times in the past, and Wawrinka holds the slight edge with a 3-2 series lead. Wawrinka won their only majors appearance in 2012 French Open, and their only other matchup on clay back in 2003. However, Simon won the most recent matchup back in the 2014 Shanghai Masters.
While Simon is playing inspiring tennis and will give himself a shot at the upset if he keeps it up, I have to worry about how much he’ll have left in the tank against a rested and experienced Wawrinka. Wawrinka has been much better in majors the last couple of years and should hit enough winners to move on with a victory here.