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  • Wawrinka, Mahut collide for 's-Hertogenbosch title

    6/21/13 11:35 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka, Mahut collide for 's-Hertogenbosch title Either Stanislas Wawrinka or Nicolas Mahut will capture his first career grass-court title on Saturday in 's-Hertogenbosch. It would result in the first ATP winner's trophy of any kind for Mahut.

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Nicolas Mahut will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers at the ATP level when they square off in the Topshelf Open final on Saturday. They have, however, faced each other twice before--once at a Challenger and again at a Futures event. Mahut prevailed both times, but they came almost 10 years ago.

    At 31 years old, Mahut is still a presence on tour and he appears to be rounding into form on the singles court after an injury-plagued slump. The 240th-ranked Frenchman qualified for the main draw in 's-Hertogenbosch and has since taken out Ricardas Berankis, Andrey Kuznetsov, Evgeny Donskoy, and Xavier Malisse all in straight sets. While this certainly comes as a surprise, Mahut has always been a force on grass (highlights include the match against John Isner and a 2007 Queen's Club runner-up finish).

    Wawrinka is also yet to drop a set this week, although his matches have been slightly more competitive and three of the four have featured a tiebreaker. The 10th-ranked Swiss opened with a win over lucky loser Steve Darcis before defeating Paolo Lorenzi, Jeremy Chardy, and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Wawrinka, who has not lost to anyone other than Rafael Nadal since Monte-Carlo, is an awesome 34-10 for his 2013 campaign.

    "I can play really good on grass, I just need to find a way to win a few matches and get some confidence," Wawrinka explained. "Today (against Garcia-Lopez) I played my best match of the tournament and I'm really happy for that. I really enjoy playing on grass and I think my game can fit really good on this surface."

    It will have to again on Saturday, because Mahut's aggressive tactics work to perfection on grass. Wawrinka has the edge in finals experience (4-8 to Mahut's 0-2 record), but his opponent's confidence has to be peaking with his performances this week. Mahut in three sets is the pick, but the underdog will have to serve extremely well in order to pull off the upset.

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Comments

Wow Mahut for a title!

chr18 , 6/22/13 7:10 PM


Now let's see what he will do at Wimbledon.

ed251137 , 6/22/13 9:50 PM


Grass is the great equalizer. Only on grass could so many veterans over 30 be winning all the titles with the exception of Murray.

chr18 , 6/23/13 2:19 AM



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