Indian Wells final preview and prediction: Wawrinka vs. Federer

Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer will be facing each other for the 23rd time in their careers when they battle for the BNP Paribas Open title on Sunday afternoon.

Federer is dominating the head-to-head series 19-3, including 14-0 on hard courts. Wawrinka’s three victories have come on clay in 2009 (Monte-Carlo), 2014 (Monte-Carlo), and 2015 (French Open). He has lost three in a row against Federer since last getting the best of his fellow Swiss, most recently via a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 decision in the Australian Open semifinals.

That was one of three five-set wins for Federer en route to his 18th Grand Slam title, as he also defeated Kei Nishikori (fourth round) and Rafael Nadal (final) after going the distance. The 35-year-old is 12-1 this season following straight-set victories in Indian Wells over Stephane Robert, Steve Johnson, Nadal, and Jack Sock to go along with a walkover from Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals.

Wawrinka took a much more circuitous route to the semis, twice needing three sets–and third-set tiebreakers–against Yoshihito Nishioka and Dominic Thiem. Nishioka served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the decider only to fall 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) and Thiem went down 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2). Wawrinka is 12-3 on the year and into his first title match on the heels of semifinal performances in Brisbane and at the Aussie Open.

“Roger, we all know him, so (there’s) nothing to say,” Wawrinka said when asked about the final.

There has been nothing good for Wawrinka on a hard court against Federer, and based on current form there is no reason think the tide will suddenly turn. The third seed has not produced his best stuff this fortnight, but he has survived because of clutch play in critical moments and in part thanks to a favorable draw. This is where the favorable draw ends, and if Federer continues his aggressive play he will be able to take time away from Wawrinka’s backhand.

Pick: Federer in 2

11 Comments on Indian Wells final preview and prediction: Wawrinka vs. Federer

  1. Sorry, I made some comments over on the Fed-Nadal R4 article. I thought Roger did well to win this one. Stanimal showed up, but not consistently enough. And agree with VamosRafa that those half-volleys from the baseline are a killer. I’m not sure anyone else on tour can do that; those shots were drilled by Wawrinka. It is definitely a sign of confidence on Roger’s part, but more important, I think it’s his best (maybe only) way of winning a baseline rally against Wawrinka goes into Stanimus Prime mode. trying to slug it out with that version of Stan is a losing bet.

  2. Finally watching the trophy ceremony. Why was Stan so emotional? Poor Stan. Charlene and Myla are growing up beautiful and still dressing alike.

    Didn’t see Donna Vekic. Was she in Stan’s player box? hmm…

  3. For all the hoopla about #NextGen, I don’t think #ThisGen is going down without a fight. Even #LostGen is showing signs of fight.

    • Yes, I root for #ThisGen. Becouse I will be done watching tennis when they are gone. I hope they all keep playing even when strugling, reinvent themselves.
      Imagine Djokovic beef up 10kg upper body muscle, ripping shirt in his cryo egg and punch Pepe Imaz to regain his mojo, wouldnt it bee cool?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*