• Wawrinka takes on Robredo in Casablanca semifinals

    4/13/13 6:41 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka takes on Robredo in Casablanca semifinals A place in the Casablanca title match will be at stake when Stanislas Wawrinka faces Tommy Robredo on Saturday. The winner is set to battle either Kevin Anderson or Martin Klizan.

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Tommy Robredo will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers when they clash in the semifinals of the Grand Prix Hassan II on Saturday.

    Robredo leads the head-to-head series 4-1, including 2-0 on clay. They have not faced each other since the 2008 Monte-Carlo Masters, where Robredo prevailed 6-4, 7-5. Wawrinka's lone victory over the Spaniard came via a 6-3, 6-3 decision on the hard courts of New Haven in 2007.

    Wawrinka is the top seed this week and remains a considerable favorite to capture the Casablanca titles. The 17th-ranked Swiss has been in decent form this season, although well-documented heartbreak includes losses to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open and in a marathon doubles rubber against the Czech Republic in round one of the Davis Cup. Wawrinka is 13-6 for the year following wins over Blaz Kavcic and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Robredo is finally armed with a clean bill of health after several seasons full of injuries. The 30-year-old is through to his second semifinal of the year (he previously reached the last four in Buenos Aires) having taken out Guillaume Rufin, Tobias Kamke, and Benoit Paire. Robredo is back up to No. 72 in the world and he is a solid 9-8 at the ATP level for his 2013 campaign.

    Past history and the surface both favor Robredo, but Wawrinka has also been more than capable on the slow stuff and he is much different player now than he was during their previous five meetings. Wawrinka will likely have too much game for his opponent and he should get the job done in straight sets.

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