Roger Federer made easy work of Gael Monfils this morning after an interrupted match on day 8. With the battle all square at 6-3, 4-6, the Swiss Maestro took the final two sets with little difficulty, taking them 6-4, 6-1, to go through with a 4 set triumph. Wawrinka managed to avoid the stress of an over night wait to complete his match, he saw off Gilles Simon in monstrous fashion, winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. A performance glittered with big winners from the back of the court. The pair progressed and will face off for the first time in the quarter finals of Roland Garros having previously played twice in the round of 16 at this event, Federer taking both in comfortable straight sets.
The head to head is not pretty reading for Stan Wawrinka with only 2 victories in 18 meetings, what hope does he have? Of their last two meetings on clay Wawrinka has in fact won one of them, and it was on the big stage in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. Much of the problem Wawrinka has with playing Roger is that Federer is able to take away his time on the ball with ease. Stan is a man that loves to line up his shots from the back of the court and out hit his opponents, however his compatriot can take the ball early and put him under pressure immediately. A glimmer of hope for the younger Swiss man (a sprite young age of 30 years) is how slow the courts at Roland Garros are playing. It does mean there will be more extended rallies where he can start to try and grasp control of the points.
The fact that both players have had such little trouble getting to this stage my main prediction is for a fantastic match. It would be the star of the show if not for the very possible uber-showdown between Nadal and Djokovic so early on. Federer is clearly the favourite, he has managed to find some strong tennis on the clay in the past week and a run to the final of Rome in the lead up will mean he is full of confidence. While many may write off Stan who has not been a headline player this year, if he can serve big and play aggressive he has a huge chance. Both players are big servers who can often struggle for rhythm from the return so most certainly expect at least one tie break! But alas this writer must say that the former world number one and legend of the game will take this match by out maneuvering Stan as he so often does.
Prediction: Roger Federer to win in 4 sets.