Welcome to the second installment of LiveAnalysis for the 2013 French Open! After the Class of 89 duel between Nishikori and Paire, we now have a match between two players who are almost six years and 13 ranking spots apart: World No. 10 Stanislas Wawrinka and World No. 23 Jerzy Janowicz.
Both men have played the exact same number of sets on their way to this third round match: 7. Interestingly enough, the only set either Wawrinka or Janowicz has dropped since the tournament started has been to Dutch opposition: Wawrinka lost a set to De Bakker in the 1st round, while Janowicz lost a set to Haase in the 2nd round. As always, tennis is weird.
Stan and Jerzy have never played before, so both men will be trying to figure each other out throughout the match. Here are a few trivia tidbits about them:
- Stan Wawrinka will be playing his 460th ATP-level match. Jerzy Janowicz will be playing in just his 62nd. That’s an experience gap of almost 400 matches, and if you think that a normal ATP season for a top 30 guy involves around 50 matches, that’s 8 years worth of experience that separates these two. Quite significant.
- Stan the Man has 4 titles to his name, while Janowicz has only made one ATP final.
- Not counting this year’s French Open earnings, Stan still holds a $5.7 million edge in career earnings. I wonder who will have the edge in that category once both of their careers are over.
Three Things to Watch For:
1. Who will be able to get the most (and the best) returns in play? Both guys have big serves, and neither man is even an average returner. Whoever can manage to put some pressure on the other’s 2nd serve and extend their service games will surely have an edge in a best of 5 match like this. I do worry that we’re in for a few tiebreakers, though.
2. Can Janowicz’ BH survive AD court duels against Stan’s BH? This is the biggest mismatch between the two men: Janowicz’ BH is still iffy, while Stan’s is one of the most admired one-handers on tour. Whether Stan can make that mismatch work in his favor will surely help tilt the balance in his favor.
3. How will Jerzy Janowicz react when he’s faced with adversity? This is where experience kicks in – when things aren’t going your way and you need to find the focus and energy to keep fighting – because you know you’ve done it before. It’ll be interesting to see how Janowicz handles the pressure points/games of the match, as well as what happens when those big points/games don’t go his way.
Remember to refresh this page often, as I will be providing game-by-game updates throughout the match!
As in previous LiveAnalysis posts, I’ll be using a bit of “tennis shorthand” today. Here’s your glossary:
BP: Break Point
DTL: Down the line (means the same as “up the line”)
GP: Game Point
SP: Set Point
SW: Service Winner
UFE: Unforced Error
The men are on court, so we should be starting soon:
First Set – Stan Wawrinka will serve first.
0-0: Janowicz’ BH starts off in good form, and forces an error to go up 15-30. However, a bad 2nd serve return makes it 30-all. Seconds later, an Ace up the T gives Stan a chance to hold for the first time. Which he does, after Janowicz barely misses a deep return up the middle.
1-0, Wawrinka: Janowicz starts off with two thundering FH winners. But that’s followed by a FH UFE. 30-15. An Ace and another FH missile seal the hold for Jerzy.
That…was an auspicious start for the 22 year-old from Lodz. Good omen for the match, too.
1-1: Stan races to a 40-0 lead, and in a surprising development, he’s the first one to hit a dropper. It works, and he holds at love.
Janowicz finished his Rome run with some pain in his right arm, and we see that today he’s got some kinesio tape on it. Hopefully it’s just soreness from the top level tennis and nothing more serious.
2-1, Wawrinka: Jerzy opens his service game with 2 straight DFs. 0-30. But he begins his climb out of the self-dug hole with a SW into Stan’s body. He then gets a look at a short FH, but instead of hitting into the open court, Janowicz goes to Wawrinka’s FH and gets passed. Loud “Allez” from Stan. First BP is saved by a very good DTL FH by Janowicz. 30-40. Then a wonderful body serve gives Janowicz a chance to put away a simple FH, but he overcooks it and nets it. Stan Wawrinka with the early break.
That was an atrocious miss by Janowicz, and could prove costly, since Stan is finding it progressively easier to hold serve. One thing I’ve noticed while watching Janowicz this year is that he rarely finds ways to escape the bad service games that every pro has. Again, it’s the recurring theme of youngsters needing to learn how to manage a match when things don’t go their way.
3-1, Wawrinka: In the time it took me to type the paragraph above, Stan held at love. The 40-0 point was pretty: Janowicz hit a return dropper that Stan tracked down. Then Stan hit a gorgeous counter-drop of his own to seal the hold.
4-1, Wawrinka: Janowicz starts another service game with a DF. He really went from playing extremely well to extremely poorly. Ah, the rollercoaster of youth. A bad FH UFE later, and it’s 15-30. Rinse and repeat, and Stan has two chances for a double break. First BP is saved by a SW up the T. And the second one is saved in the exact same way. Deuce #1. AD Janowicz after a nifty I-O FH, and a SW out wide clinches the hold for Jerzy.
This is what I was talking about above: Janowicz again had an awful service game, but found a way to get out of it. He’s still a break down, but at least Stan is not serving for a breadstick now.
4-2, Wawrinka: Janowicz finally wins a point on Stan’s serve…but that happens when he’s already down 40-0. An Ace up the T seals the hold for Stan.
5-2, Wawrinka: Janowicz is up 40-0, but the first GP goes begging as another DF creeps in. No matter: an Ace up the T seals the hold. Stan to serve for the first set. If his previous service games are any indication, this will be a quick and painless affair.
Stanley serves out the first set to love. JJ (penile) has gone for a toilet break. Little pig.
— Tumaini (@tumcarayol) June 1, 2013
First Set to Stan Wawrinka, 6-3.
Here are your first set stats:
Sadly, this LiveAnalysis post has to die here. NBC apparently kills off all the Tennis Channel streams when they come on the air. And yes, I know there are some illegal streams out there, but I’m a PC owner who is beyond paranoid of viruses (and has gotten burned in the past by said dodgy streams). Hence, sorry about this, but direct all your anger to NBC and this insane policy of turning off all the streams during the first week of a Slam.