- Andy Murray [WC] v Stan Wawrinka  | H2H: Murray leads 12-8
- Injuries sidelined both until they faced each other in Antwerp last year where Murray won
PARIS, FRANCE – Andy Murray’s wild-card earns him a rematch with Stan Wawrinka, on the surface that finished their hip and knee respectively.
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Andy Murray [WC] v Stan Wawrinka  | H2H: Murray leads 12-8
It has been a long journey back for both former finalist Andy Murray, and former champion Stan Wawrinka, as they reunite three and a half years on from their last encounter at Roland Garros. There Wawrinka exacted revenge for his loss to Murray in 2016, but both would pay a heavy price for another five-set battle as Murray explained in his Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Been a long journey to get back on Court Philipe Chatrier. 3 and half years since I played @stanwawrinka85 in a brutal 5 set semi final which turned out to be the end of my hip. It was a pleasure to be back @rolandgarros and a huge thank you to the @fftennis for giving me the opportunity to play here again 🙏 The new stadium with the roof looks amazing and all the changes and improvements they have made for the players is much appreciated👍 @castore_sportswear @headtennis_official #tennis #paris
That same match took a similar toll on Wawrinka, who underwent two surgeries on his left knee in August 2017, while Murray would have surgery on his right hip in January 2018 and January 2019.
Of course, they came together again last year in the Antwerp final, where Murray came from a set down to claim his first title since Dubai in 2017.
Wawrinka has fared better on the come-back trail and in the restart, dropped down to a couple of Challenger tournaments and Murray has combatted a few hiccups with niggling injuries but by and large his hop held up well through some tough matches since the restart at the Western and Southern Open and the US Open.
In normal circumstances, Murray would try and outwit a more powerful offensive baseline game from Wawrinka with patience and tenacity to prompt the Swiss to always hit the extra ball.
But the conditions in Paris are heavy, the new Wilson balls are also heavy, and this might favour whoever can hit through the ball better – marginally you would have to say this favours Wawrinka in many ways. He comes in more match fit in general, where fatigue and a lack of sharpness and timing told on Murray, and clay is a more natural surface for him.
What would be a dream would be another enduring battle between the great friends and rivals, but in reality, this is still very much a work in progress for Murray – but we can rely on him to make it as tough for Wawrinka as he can.
Prediction: Wawrinka in four sets.
Murray & Wawrinka are scheduled fourth on Court Philippe Chatrier, not before 4pm (3pm BST).
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