ATP World Tour Finals SF: Federer v Wawrinka – PREVIEW

By Ros Satar

  •  Roger Federer [3] v Stan Wawrinka [4]
  • Head to head 17-3

LONDON, UK – It is a highly anticipated rematch between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, after last year’s emotionally charged semi-final at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

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Everything about that head to head tells you all you need to know about where Federer’s advantage lies. Wawrinka’s only three wins have come on the clay, but of course last year the Swiss No, 2 came within match-points of turning in his first win over Federer outside of the dirt.

Wawrinka admitted after his group-stage win over Andy Murray that this time last year, his match-play confidence had been low, and for him it had been all about getting that confidence back against the big players and ahead of the Davis Cup final between Switzerland and France.


This year, he has had a few ups and downs, granted but he has played progressively better since the start of the tournament, If we are being honest he could have hardly played worse that his first match against Rafael Nadal.

The conditions are quite good for both players, and once Wawrinka locks into his groove and starts hitting through, it will require all Federer’s tricks of the trade to try and get through Wawrinka. But the Swiss No. 1 has also been playing very well, achieving a coup in taking out Novak Djokovic in the round-robins.

He admitted that he had not thought he would do that, preferring to concentrate on securing wins over Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych, and so some of the pressure is off now as Djokovic’s level has not been as dominant as we often expect.

You have to think the confidence will be with Federer. He has been on top form all tournament, graduating top of the class from Group Stan Smith. Admittedly he started slow against Berdych (for about one game) and Kei Nishikori pushed him to three sets.

Wawrinka has been improving, and while his first serve stats had been shaky at times against Murray, those he did get in came in high. And his second serve is one of the best in the business, and as he possibly stands on the verge of stretching the former Big Four to the Big Five, but has he still got those lingering mental fragilities that we saw in abundance in the first match.

Federer seems just too secure to relinquish another notch in their head to head just now, so Wawrinka may well have to wait until next year to try and better his compatriot on any surface other than clay.

Federer and Wawrinka are scheduled not before 8pm GMT.

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