• Wawrinka faces Garcia-Lopez in 's-Hertogenbosch semis

    6/21/13 8:03 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka faces Garcia-Lopez in 's-Hertogenbosch semis Stanislas Wawrinka will make a push for a place in the 's-Hertogenbosch title match when he takes the court on Friday. Standing in his way is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers at the ATP level when they do battle in the semifinals of the Topshelf Open on Friday. Wawrinka is leading the head-to-head series 3-2 after dominating a clay-court quarterfinal 6-1, 6-2 this spring in Casablanca. Both of Garcia-Lopez's victories came on the slow stuff (in 2009 and 2011).

    Wawrinka has been the highest-ranked player left in the draw and title favorite ever since No. 1 seed David Ferrer was knocked out in the opening round. The world No. 10 defeated Steve Darcis, Paolo Lorenzi, and Jeremy Chardy to book his spot in the last four. Now 33-10 for the year, Wawrinka has not lost to anyone other than Rafael Nadal since the Monte-Carlo Masters in early April.

    "I've played three great matches, especially today," the Swiss said after beating Chardy on Thursday. "I was really focused, really aggressive, and serving well. The most important thing for me [on grass] is to have confidence in my game. On grass I can play really good, but you can get broken really fast and it's important to stay strong mentally."

    Neither Wawrinka nor Garcia-Lopez has been forced to display much mental tenacity in 's-Hertogenbosch because both have cruised without dropping a single set. Garcia-Lopez has advanced with wins over Victor Hanescu, Daniel Brands, and Jan Hernych. The 78th-ranked Spaniard, who generally does his best work on clay, is now 9-11 for his 2013 campaign.

    On this surface, the only real reason Wawrinka could lose is to relative disinterest and a desire to prepare for Wimbledon at the All-England Club. Having come this far, however, the second seed should be motivated. Count on him getting the job done in straight sets.

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