Having just picked up five games each in their opening round matches at the World Tour Finals it is now all or nothing for Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka. Cilic starred in a match full of errors against world number one Andy Murray who by this standards wasn’t at his best but defended incredibly well on way to victory.
For Stan Wawrinka it was more of the same as the Swiss number one didn’t get involved in the match and looked disinterested and there was no plan or answer to what Nishikori had to offer and ran the show from the first to the final ball in just 90 minutes.
So where do both need to improve?
It’s a big weapon usually and after seeing it pose many problems for opponents in Basel and Paris at the indoor events on a hard court I’d expected a bit better from Cilic with his forehand lacking the sting to hurt Murray.
The red lines show where Cilic is looking to be effective with this forehand, mostly cross court but also going up the line to try and finish points. However for Cilic against Andy he continued to miss and end up going long or wide, he has to measure it a bit better and find that rhythm early on.
Stan must find rhythm early on!
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen Stan as ineffective as he was against Kei. At the biggest tournament in the world involving the top 8 of the year you want to see everyone at their best and at times it did look like he didn’t want to be there!
Finding rhythm against Kei was tough for Stan and I think he probably had himself to blame, body language was all over the place but the amount of short balls he hit was ridiculous!
So this is the court above and I was shocked by how little depth Stan was getting on the court. The yellow shaded box shows when Stan was placing the ball during the rallies where as you’d usually see him going deep as shown on the green box. Going short sometimes isn’t a bad thing but time and time again it allowed Kei to step inside the baseline going with that forehand or even drop shot dictating rallies from early on in.
It’s a tough one, how well will both react to their first round defeats. Neither can afford to lose this one so that could bring some nerves and tension to the early proceedings of this one. Early break could be crucial we see it set the tone quite a bit in these matches of great importance and intensity but also it depends how you approach the match. You could lose and still theoretically go through. I expect both to play 100 times better than they did in the first match and I don’t know why but I have a feeling Marin might just sneak this one…