Tennis / stan warinka

Rotterdam ATP Outright Winner Prediction: Take Stan While You Can
Last night I stayed up at 2am (GMT+7) to watch Stan Wawrinka take on Milos Raonic in Rotterdam, Stan is my favourite player right now to watch and he is my pick for the Rotterdam ATP Outright Winner 2019. Having seen Stan bow out to Raonic in the Australia Open, I had a feeling he would come good this time round. It wasn't that he played poorly in Melbourne, it was just the fact Raonic served too many aces and gave Stan hardly any opportunity on his serve throughout the four sets. Raonic is actually a very boring player to watch, without his serve he is nothing and his serve alone won't win him a slam, unlike Stan who in addition to having a solid serve, is formidable at the back of the court. No need to elaborate further for those that know Wawrinka, he's been a nemesis to World Number One Novak Djokovic over the past 5 years discounting his knee injury. Source - Getty Images - Stan Wawrinka The Swiss star who always plays second fiddle to Federer in the limelight played the perfect game of tennis yesterday. He rarely put a foot wrong, hitting like his old self, confident and forceful from both his forehand and backhand. He came up with his usual hammer blows down the line from his backhand leaving Raonic desperately scrambling and struggling to build a single point on his return game with Stan. Even Stan's blocked return game was on song, unlike many Wawrinka chooses to use the fore and backhand slice to block his opponents serve and keep it low over the net. This is how he builds every single return point, you'll rarely if ever see him hit hard right off a return of serve. His blocked return surprisingly scores some cheap points even, especially if he lands the return low enough over the net versus a rather flat hitter like Raonic. Even though Raonic served 15 aces yesterday he still couldn't get a look in on the return. He managed to create just a single break point chance on the Wawrinka serve. Stan created two in the first set of which one he converted and took the second set to a tie break. Even so in the second he was the more likely to break if either player was to as he was comfortably winning points on almost all of Raonic's service games so it was inevitable that a tie break would go the Swiss's way. He was 2.62 yesterday to win so I had a 2% stake on him to win. This helped me claw back some of the losses I have suffered of late. Now I am near breaking even since I started recording my predictions. But lets cut to the chase in Rotterdam, amazingly you can still take Stan at 4/1 odds to win the Rotterdam ATP. Considering how on song he is looking since returning from injury a year ago and that he is a three time grand slam winner (including two wins against Djokovic in the finals and one against Nadal) he is a fantastic bet and 4/1 represents a steal for me given his current form. Check back over his previous six months, you will see some wobbles against some weaker players, Copil in Bulgaria was the latest where he went down 2-1 in sets to the 72nd seed but this is just a basic pattern of a former champion finding his feet and confidence after major knee surgery. Now his movement on court is looking near to his best. Considering when Wawrinka plays at his best no one beats him, if he's 80% here in a tournament that has the likes of Nishikori, Medvedev and Monfils left in it, he will prevail as champion to reclaim the title he last won in 2015. For me Medvedev is the main threat here to his title hopes. The young Russian who won 3 ATP titles last year has already added to that tally in 2019 with a win in the Sofia Open. Yet Medvedev was found out at the Australia Open when it came to playing Djokovic. Granted most players lose to Djokovic but if you had watched the match you will notice a flaw in his game. Although he is consistent, that consistency will buckle against a consistently powerful player like Stan he can hit winners consistenly at a remarkably consistent level. The same way Djokovic out rallied him, Stan will expose his far too conservative game in Rotterdam. I really hope Stan can win in Rotterdam this year to ignite his season and set him up for the clay, he really does add an element of unpredictability to the Grand Slams that otherwise look void of competition outside the Big 3, plus whenever he plays fireworks happen from the back, he is an exciting player to watch against Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. My advice, take him at 4/1 to win in the Netherlands, he will likely face either Nishikori or Basilashvili in the Semi Finals if he overcomes the surprising winner of yesterdays match between Tomas Berdych and Denis Shapovalov in the Quarters. Shapovalov prevailed in straight sets in that match, the young Canadian blows hot and cold every month, showing signs of greatness before tanking vs ordinary opposition. Although he's young, dynamic and energetic Stan will take him down unless he can pick his game up way beyond anything we have seen from him thus far. It will be a great match to watch with both players hitting with a single handed backhand, Shapovalov's more erratic than Wawrinka's. Whilst Shapovalov may start brightly he will likely become demoralised by Wawrinka's heavy hitting who looks more clear headed and dangerous than when they first met in Tokyo last year. Stan won't want to get involved in too many long rallies where the youngster will look to wear him down, the Swiss will go heavy on his serve, delivering the one two punches we saw last night against Raonic. It's staggering to think there is 14 years difference between the two players tomorrow, Stan for his age at 33 has fantastic movement and a game that can still blow the 19 year old youngster Shapovalov away - youth is only one of many tools in tennis! Shapovalov has had his own misgivings this season with defeats to substandard players such as ranked 41st Sousa in Auckland and ranked 36th Herbert in Montpellier. Apart from Berdych yesterday you have to go as far back as Tokyo last October to find a win against a big opponent. Ironically that was versus Wawrinka where he overcame the Swiss in three sets. After losing the first set to Stan, he came back winning the second in dominant fashion 6-1 and the third 6-4. Stan will be aware of this factor tomorrow but it won't phase him, he knows if he goes about his business the right way he will prevail not only tomorrow but overall in the tournament to record his first ATP tournament win since Geneva 2017. Prediction: I will be taking Wawrinka tomorrow at 1.80 vs Shapovalov as well as for the tournament winner. Both at 1%. Watch Highlights of Both Wawrinka & Shapovalov's Victories Yesterday

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