Stan Wawrinka vs Jannik Sinner - Semifinals - Antwerp Open - Preview and Prediction
Antwerp throws up a scintillating semi-final as World number 18, Stan Wawrinka takes on 18-year old Jannik Sinner today.
- Sinner who was ranked 778 last year has jumped into the top 100 now
- Sinner has clinched two challenger titles in 2019
- Wawrinka has made the last four of a tournament for the second time this season after Rotterdam Open
- Wawrinka leads the head to head record, 1-0, against Sinner
- Sinner is the second youngest ATP tour semifinalist since Borna Coric at Basel in 2014
- Interestingly, Wawrinka and Sinner practice together regularly in Monte Carlo
The three-time grand slam champion is back to competitive action after a quarter-final finish in the US Open. The Swiss has shown terrific tenacity, even though he has played just two matches ahead of the semis in this tournament.
In the battle of veterans, Stan came out on top edging past Feliciano Lopez in three sets in the round of 16. The Spaniard was in the driver's seat after he took the first set 7-6 but Wawrinka made a strong comeback, winning the next two sets 6-4, 7-6.
World number 47, Gilles Simon gave a great challenge in the quarterfinals but Stan stood strong converting five out of seven breakpoints. Though he lost the second set 7-6, he was clinical in the decider trouncing the Frenchman, 6-2.
On the other hand, teen wonder Sinner has shown tremendous maturity in defeating some of the best players in the circuit. The Italian, who got a wildcard for this tournament, destroyed top seed Gael Monfils in the pre-quarterfinals. The Frenchman, who was last year's runner-up, struggled to get rhythm. In a thrilling quarterfinal, Sinner came out on top defeating Next-Gen sensation, Frances Tiafoe 6-3 3-6 6-3.
"I just can say thanks for the wild card!. I think I played good today once more. It was not easy in the end. I was shaking a little bit. On the important points, I was serving quite good, and I’m happy to be in the semi-finals," said Sinner after winning a tough quarterfinal.
"I really think at that time he was playing really well. He is playing powerful from the baseline on both sides. He is a great player already. He is young and he can improve a lot, but he is already tough to beat, it was a tough match at the time of the US Open. I expect the same tomorrow." said Stan ahead of the eagerly awaited semi-final.
It will be a battle between Wawrinka's brutal backhand and Sinner's ferocious forehand. The fans would have a tough time to choose as both players are in good form.
Prediction - Stan Wawrinka to win in three sets
Cover Image Credits - Getty Images