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French Open: Stanislas Wawrinka - Albert Ramos

We sided with defending champion Stan Wawrinka through the quarters/semis and final last year, when he played out of his skin and beat Federer, Tsonga and Djokovic, he was a man on a mission and had promised something "special" at Roland Garros for months in advance. That is covered in my preview of his match with JWT and you can read or re-read those notes at the very foot of this email. I guess he is not quite as motivated this year, that would be close to impossible, but winning major titles is addictive and it is hard to give up something you own without a fight ! The draw has been kind and he will certainly not fear Ramos-Vinolas today and he cannot face Novak until the final.

No one has been more shocked by the progress of Ramos-Vinolas than the man himself and the 28 yo Spaniard has won a lot of fans by his open and honest interviews in Paris, he demolished Milos Raonic in the last 16, losing only 10 games. He has a "suspect" backhand and was supposed to get nervous, but showed few signs of either in an "easy win". However, Raonic did not give ARV the chance to get nervous by putting any real pressure on him and was too impatient to turn defence into attack and made far too many unforced errors in making the transition. Also, Ramos is a leftie and Raonic is 39-14 this year and 282-141 lifetime on Tour, but 4-4 and 29-25 respectively against left handed players and is clearly not as comfortable playing "southpaws".

Wawrinka is 18-5 since the start of 2014 versus lefties and 8-3 in the last 12 months, with all three losses coming against his nemesis in Rafael Nadal , last of those wins was just 14 days ago, when he actually beat Ramos 6-1 6-1 in Geneva. The Spanish player only won 25 points, just 13 of 32 on serve and he is very much, despite what he has achieved here, a journeyman player and in four previous visits to RG had only reached the second round ( and no further) once and at 28 yo he is not going to find huge long term improvement and sooner or later and it will be sooner, he will awake from this dream !

Having discussed how poorly he played against Wawrinka in Geneva, lets look at a h2h game in which he played well, the two met in the opening round at the US Open last year, Ramos played above himself, served well and Stan was a touch sub par, but the Swiss man still won by five games and in straight sets. He is 6-0 in h2h matches, 4-0 on clay, it can be close, but Ramos will have to again raise his game and Wawrinka have a bad day and for both to happen seems unlikely.

Stanislas Wawrinka -7 games 1.95 Pinnacle Sports/Sportmarket Pro

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