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Wawrinka vs Paire ATP Rotterdam Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Wawrinka begins Rotterdam campaign against mercurial Paire

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 10 Feb 2019
  • Stan Wawrinka vs Benoit Paire is live from Rotterdam on Monday, 11 February from 7:30pm local time/ 6:30pm GMT
  • Wawrinka leads Paire 8-3 on head-to-head
Stan Wawrinka. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Stan Wawrinka opens his Rotterdam campaign on Monday when he takes on Frenchman, Benoit Paire.

Wawrinka is a former champion in Rotterdam, having claimed the title in 2015 with victory over Tomas Berdych in the final, but he suffered a shock defeat to unheralded Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the opening round last season in his first appearance at the tournament since that 2015 triumph.

There were mitigating circumstances around that defeat, as the three-time major winner was still early into his comeback from multiple knee surgeries, which had kept him out of action for the second half of the previous season. After stuttering through the initial phase of his comeback, including having another extended spell on the sidelines between February and May, Wawrinka finally attained a semblance of form and fitness towards the end of the year, with a quarter final in Cincinnati, third round at the US Open and a semi-final in St. Petersburg among his most eye-catching results. The Swiss climbed from 263rd in the rankings in June to a year-end mark of 66th despite missing the final weeks of the year with a back complaint.

Wawrinka reached the quarter finals in his first tournament of the 2019 season in Doha, beating Karen Khachanov and Nicolas Jarry before falling to Roberto Bautista-Agut, while he lost to Milos Raonic in the second round of the Australian Open in a very tough draw.

The draw in Rotterdam is not easy, as the Swiss goes in search of a first title since May 2017, and a 17th title overall.

First up for the 33-year-old is a first round meeting with the mercurial Frenchman, Benoit Paire, who is capable of magic on his day, but far too often fails to deliver on his undoubted potential.


Benoît Paire. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Perfect case in study was in Montpellier last week, when Paire completely fell away against Tomas Berdych, losing eight games in a row to fall 6-2 6-0 in the second round meeting.

Paire opened his season with a quarter final in Pune, but he then lost back-to-back first round matches in Auckland and the Australian Open, before his most recent appearance in Montpellier, where he defeated Evgeny Donskoy before the loss to Berdych. In between all of that, he dropped down to the Challenger level to play in Rennes, where he made the quarter finals in Rennes.

The former world No. 18 spent all of 2018 outside the top 40, having struggled for most of the year. He actually had a good enough start, reaching consecutive semi-finals in Pune and Sydney, and a quarter final in Montpellier a couple of tournaments later, but he didn't make a quarter final after that, and did not win consecutive matches after Wimbledon. In the end, he was 26-28 in the calendar year.

Paire has not won a match in Montpellier since 2011, when beat Gilles Simon in the first round before losing to Ivan Ljubicic. He failed to cross the first hurdle in his next three visits, beaten by Marcos Baghdatis (via retirement), Ivan Dodig and Marin Cilic in 2013, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Can he end that four match losing streak at the tournament when he takes on Wawrinka on Monday?

Paire has definitely got the talents to worry the best players in the world, but the problem has always been his temperament. He has won three of his 11 previous matches against Wawrinka, including their most recent indoor hard court meeting in Marseille in 2016, but Wawrinka has obviously dominated this match up and leads 2-1 overall on indoor hard courts.

The backhand-to-backhand exchanges will be fascinating, with Wawrinka's sizzling one-hander up against Paire's gorgeous double-hander, but overall, Wawrinka should be too consistent for Paire, who has formed a habit of drifting in and out of matches, unfortunately, out, a lot more often than in.

Stan Wawrinka vs Benoit Paire is live from Rotterdam on Monday, 11 February from 7:30pm local time/ 6:30pm GMT

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Wawrinka vs Paire ATP Rotterdam Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Wawrinka begins Rotterdam campaign against mercurial Paire

Stan Wawrinka gets his Rotterdam title bid underway on Monday when he plays Benoit Paire. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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