Stan Wawrinka (-225) vs. Richard Gasquet (+175)
For years, men’s tennis has been dominated by the Big Four. Now, as Roger Federer ages and Rafael Nadal struggles from injury after injury, 2015 French Open champion, Stan Wawrinka, is looking to cement his place among the elite in the men’s game. The now 30-year-old two-time major champion will take the next step on his quest tomorrow when he faces Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon (1:30 PM Eastern) – a tournament when he has never reached the final four.
In addition to this year’s French Open, Wawrinka also won the Australian open in 2014, making him the only person outside of the Big Four to win multiple career slams since Andre Agassi took the 2003 Aussie Open for the eighth and final major of his career.
Wawrinka advanced to the quarters without losing a set. He took care of his most recent victim, Belgian David Goffin, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. Despite winning in straight sets, Wawrinka was pushed to the limit by the game Goffin.
“It was a tough one. I am really happy with the victory, especially in three sets. I wasn’t moving great. I was a little bit soft in general, but I’m happy to get through. It’s an important victory for me. It has been a very good tournament for me so far”, Wawrinka said in the post-match press conference.
Facing Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals represents a step up in competition for Wawrinka. Gasquet has been in the semis at Wimbledon once before (2007) but hasn’t tended to perform well at the All England Club – or any other grand slam – otherwise. (His only other semifinal appearance at a major came at the US Open in 2013.)
Gasquet needed four sets to get rid off young Australian Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round (7-5, 6-1, 6-7, 7-6) in a match which featured some truly odd behavior from the loser.
Ignoring Kyrgios’ strange antics, the ever-professional Gasquet was all business in the post-match press conference. “I’m very happy to be back in the quarter-finals,” said Gasquet. “I lost many times in a Grand Slam in a fourth round. It’s very good for me to be here in the quarter-finals. Now we will see what will happens. I am feeling good.”
Wednesday have split their two career meetings, both of which came on clay. Richard Gasquet is the most talented player Wawrinka will face to this point in the current Wimbledon tournament, but the Swiss national is playing at a high level and should be full value for the win.
Pick: Stan Wawrinka (-225).
(Photo credit: si.robi [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)