Date: 12 May 2022
Tournament: Italian Open 2022.
Round: Third round (Round of 16).
Venue: Rome, Italy.
Category: ATP Masters 1000.
Prize money: €5,415,410.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Voot & Sports 18.
Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka preview
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on Stan Wawrinka in the last 16 of the Italian Open on Thursday.
The Serb has played a limited amount of tennis this season due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, having missed out on the Australian Open, the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters.
Djokovic's first tournament of 2022 was the Dubai Tennis Championships, where he reached the quarterfinals before losing to Jiri Vesely. He was then beaten by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters.
The 34-year-old had a good run at the Serbia Open as he reached the final with victories over Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov. However, he lost to Andrey Rublev in the final.
Djokovic then reached the semifinals of the Madrid Open, where he lost to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in a thrilling match that lasted three hours and 38 minutes.
The Serb then shifted his focus to the Italian Open, opening with a straight-sets win over Aslan Karatsev.
Wawrinka, meanwhile, made his return to the ATP tour at the Monte-Carlo Masters and lost in the first round to Alexander Bublik after putting up a tough fight.
He won his first match of the season by beating Reilly Opelka 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in his Rome opener. The Swiss then defeated Laslo Djere in three sets to reach the third round of the tournament.
Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka head-to-head
This will be the 26th meeting between Djokovic and Wawrinka, with the Serb leading the head-to-head 19-6. Their most recent match came in the fourth round of the 2019 US Open, where Djokovic was forced to retire due to injury after losing the first two sets.
The two players have clashed in Rome on two prior occasions, with Djokovic triumphing on both occasions.
The winner of this match will play either Marcos Giron or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.
Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka odds
All odds are sourced from Oddschecker.
Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka prediction
Djokovic will enter the match as the heavy favorite. The Serb looks to have found his rhythm after months of inaction on the tour, breezing past Aslan Karatsev in the second round.
The Serb's serve has been firing on all cylinders and his movement has improved with every match. His fitness levels are also no longer a concern, meaning he is close to hitting peak form.
Wawinka, meanwhile, showed glimpses of his best form in his win against Djere. The Swiss will have to play extremely pro-active tennis against the World No. 1 if he is to have any chance of winning. He will rely on his backhand, as always, to do most of the heavy lifting in the match.
Wawrinka thrives on the big stage, but given Djokovic's form at present and the fact that the Swiss is only just returning to the tour, the Serb should not have much trouble advancing to the quarterfinals.
Pick: Djokovic to win in straight sets.