US Open 2016: Novak Djokovic vs. Stan Wawrinka Championship Prediction

Novak Djokovic vs. Stan Wawrinka

For the second straight day, I have been slow to post a championship prediction because I can’t come to a clear sense of what I think will happen.  Novak Djokovic is the favorite on paper, but we know that Stan Wawrinka’s 2 major titles included wins over Djokovic.  They have also staged 3 five set epics that went Novak’s direction in Grand Slam play.  So one could expect a 4 or 5 set match.

What I Think Will Happen

Both players know the other’s game.  There should not be any surprises.  Andy Roddick said that to beat Novak a player has to throw haymakers and hope they land often.  We know Stan can blast away and at times he is highly accurate when blasting. So Stan can win, but if that is the game plan odds would be against him.  Novak is also under 100%.  Novak may not be as match tough as he would like to be either.  That helps bring this closer to a 50-50 match in my eyes.

My deciding factor is that this is the last match of high stakes Novak has to play until London at the earliest.  His training team and he can be as aggressive as possible in treating any injury, up to and including shots, knowing that he can take many weeks off if needed after this match.  This makes me think his injury will be less of a factor in terms of impact on the match than it might have been in previous rounds.

My Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 – Stan started slowly against Kei Nishikori, but he found his range.  I think something similar happens here, but Novak is better than Kei.

Confidence in my pick – Moderately low – Novak is the favorite, but Stan has been money in his Grand Slam finals to this point.  

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