Former Grand Slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray meet in the first round of the 2020 French Open. The match will be played on Sunday, September 27 and is expected to begin at around 6 pm local time (5 pm BST or 12 noon Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray Head to Head
The two players have met 20 times, with Murray leading the head-to-head 12-8. Their last meeting was at the finals of the ATP 250 in Antwerp in October 2019, which Murray won in a decider.
The players last met on clay, at the 2017 semi-finals here at the French Open, where Wawrinka came back from two sets to one down to win a deciding fifth set.
Incidentally, they were ranked in the top three in the world in 2017 and both have since had a rough road with long and recurring injury layoffs.
Wawrinka’s Post Covid Return Thus Far Short-Lived
Since his return to the tour in 2018-2019, it has been a steadily improving return for Wawrinka, following his injury issues. In 2019, he was a quarter-finalist at both the French & US Opens, and had some crucial wins against the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov and most importantly Novak Djokovic. He also returned to the top 20 of the ATP rankings.
And when he kick-started 2020 with a semifinal at Doha, despite that defeat, Wawrinka looked like he was getting back to his best. He continued the season with quarter-final wins at both the Australian Open and the Acapulco ATP 500, and among other wins included the scalp of Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne.
Wawrinka did not travel to the US to play in the two competitions in the bio-secure bubbles, but he was active at the Challenger level. The Swiss number two featured in clay court tournaments, both of which were held in Prague, and went on a seven-match winning streak before withdrawing from the quarterfinals of the latter tournament.
The 2015 French Open champion did not have the best return to clay on the main tour, with an opening round loss in Rome to Lorenzo Musetti, the rising Italian teenager. However, the Swiss is well equipped on clay and will be looking for a good run at the last major of the year, as a curtailed season draws to a close in the next couple months.
Murray Returns To A Familiar Opponent
The last time Andy Murray stepped onto Roland Garros was his epic five set 2017 semi-final which he lost to Stan Wawrinka, and which has often been alluded by him to a physically draining encounter that triggered off a lot of his hip issues. Since then, the Andy Murray story keeps adding chapters to it and each as unbelievable as the previous one.
In the era of the Big Three, one rarely thought as good as he was, that he would make it to the number one ranking in the world and he did in 2016. Little did one think what followed would be as different as it could be and that the hip would limit it as much as it has and it did.
With a long stint away from the game and an emotional farewell at the 2019 Australian Open, one never expected him to return after surgery and yet he did and won the European Open at Antwerp last Fall.
With the injury struggles resurfacing late 2019-early 2020, one was not sure which version of Murray would show up in New York, and despite a tough draw, he managed to get the better of Frances Tiafoe and Alexander Zverev at the Western & Southern Open and pull off a five set opening round win against Yoshihito Nishioka at the US Open.
Murray has not played any of the warm-up tournaments on clay, but he is a French Open finalist and a three-time grand slam winner, and knows what it takes to do well on the biggest stage.
Wawrinka v Murray Prediction and Tip
Probably the opening round match that is the most anticipated of them all, this could have been a grand slam final in the mid-late 2010s. Either way, the match will have its fair share of excitement and given his relatively superior fitness here, Wawrinka will start as the favorite. There are no easy wins against Andy Murray and expect this to be no different. The Swiss will need to deliver the goods, but should prevail in four sets.
Tip: Wawrinka to win in four sets: 11/4 (bet365)