Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem were the winners of the tennis week. The Swiss was prophet in his homeland rising the title in the Geneva ATP 250 defeating in the final to Croatian Marin Cilic, 6-4 7-6 (11). For his part, Thiem won the Nice tournament winning the duel of promises against the German Alexander Zverev, 6-4 3-6 6-0.
Wawrinka achieved his third title of the year, after Chennai and Dubai, and takes out the bad taste in his mouth accumulated in the three Masters 1000 on clay, where he only got three victories. However, in the case of finals, Swiss is intractable and has won the last 10 finals he has played. Stan had in the past a reputation as finals loser – won only 4 of the 13 first he played-, but he has recovered more than enough with this impressive streak in which there are two Grand Slam included. Wawrinka finals
Although he lost a set against Lukas Rosol and had to save 6 break points during the final with Cilic, the game of the number 4 in the world was convincing. He just suffered a couple of “breaks” in the tournament and beat with clarity to specialists such as Ramos and Carreno. Certainly, if he want to defend his title in Paris he will need to be ready for a much stronger opposition that he has had in Geneva, but there is no doubt that this triumph will have reinforce his confidence. Geneva 2016 stats
The Croatian Cilic reappeared in the circuit after the knee problems which have kept him away from competition since the Miami Masters. In Geneva he got three valuable victories – Gulbis, Delbonis and Ferrer – and he only lost against Wawrinka after a tough fight in a second set in which he had seriously options to get it. It is the second final of the year for the Croatian, after which he lost with Nick Kyrgios in Marseille.
About John Isner is likely to a voodoo curse. For the fourth time in the year he has been eliminated without losing a single service game. Dusan Lajovic in Buenos Aires, Guido Pella in Rio de Janeiro, Kei Nishikori at Indian Wells and Lukas Rosol in Vienna defeat him without having to break a service game. Lajovic, Nishikori and Rosol did not have even the chance of breaking his service and Pella just had one break point. Jack Sock defeated him in Houston taking advantage of the only break point he disposed.
Isner service stats this season are incredible. He is the leading force in aces – 447, 126 more than his nearest rival Nick Kyrgios-, aces per match (24,83), percentage of service points won (74.88%) and he only has received 11 “breaks” in 18 matches. In 275 service games he only has faced 18 break points, one every six games. Federer, who follows him in this classification, faces one every three games. 2016 stats
But all these numbers have not been enough to achieve a great result. The problem of the American is the retriever, where is the second to last this season, just ahead of Ivo Karlovic, with a 30,14% of efficiency. In addition, it is not the year of Isner in the tiebreaks. His balance this season is 12-12, but in the decisive sets his balance is 0-5, a catastrophic score. 2016 stats (II)
In Nice, the Austrian Thiem defended the title achieved last year, clinching his third this year, following those achieved in Buenos Aires and Acapulco. The season of the promising young is becoming impressive. Sixth in the Race, second in number of victories, with 36, and also in number of tournaments won and fourth in percentage of wins, with 78,26% behind Raonic, Murray and Djokovic. 2016 wins % stands
In Nice Thiem made a show and demonstrated he has to be borne in mind for Paris. He swept away Mayer, Seppi and Mannarino and completed a great tournament in the final against Zverev, the only player who got him in troubles, with an overwhelming 6-0. His stats in Nice were equally convincing: first in return and service points won and won half of the returning games he played. The Austrian only needs to confirm himself as top in a big tournament and sure he has placed his hopes in Paris. Nice 2016 stats
A tournament in where Roger Federer will not be. The great Swiss champion renounced to his participation in Roland Garros interrupting a streak of 65 consecutive entries in Grand Slam tournaments. Federer did not miss a single major since Australian Open 2000, 16 years playing each and every one of the majors. Of the many records Federer holds, this is probably the most incredible and the longer it stays in the history. Grand Slam entries streak
The bracket of Paris was drawn last Friday. The first consequence of Federer´s loss, to which must be added the loss of Gael Monfils, has been the climb to Rafael Nadal up to number 4 in the world. However, such circumstance do not has brought much luck to the Spanish. Rafa, who will make his debut against the Australian Sam Groth, has a tough path where already in third round appears on the horizon Fognini. In fourth it gets even more complicated with the threat of Thiem, with Zverev as an alternative. If he goes through these rounds, quarterfinals look a bit better for him, with Tsonga as theoretical clash and Goffin and Kohlschreiber as other likely quarter finalists. At semifinals could be the big showdown with number one Novak Djokovic.
The Serb has a theoretically easier path to semifinals. After making his debut against Yen-Hsun Lu are not perceived major threats for him to his likely showdown with Nadal. The Serb faces a draw which is favourable in principle with players far from their best form – Ferrer – and others players who are not specialists on clay as Tomic, Lopez and Berdych.
Murray and Wawrinka lead the bottom half of the bracket. The Scottish will make his debut playing with the veteran Stepanek and he probably find Kei Nishikori at quarterfinals. On the other hand Wawrinka, who starts against Rosol, he already beat him this week in Geneva, has a difficult path, with many specialists on the road and a tough nut to crack as Simon in a theoretical eighth finals. At quarterfinals, the theoretical rival is Raonic, a player who is having a great time.
The 86th edition of the Parisian tournament raises the curtain today with Novak Djokovic aspiring to get into the select club composed of payers as Budge, Perry, Laver, Emerson, Agassi, Nadal and Federer, the winners of the Grand Slam. We’ll see if Nadal, Murray and company can stop him. Roland Garros book of records