Stanislas Wawrinka and Peter Lundgren at ATP Toronto. (credit: Shane Lambert)
Monfils and Wawrinka will meet in an intriguing Day 5 match.
Day 5 of the 2011 Australian Open will feature what promises to be a competitive match between France's top player, Gael Monfils, and Switzerland's second best player, Stanislas Wawrinka.
The two players do not have an extended head to head history however at least all of the matches that they have played against one another have come on the hard court surface.
Monfils, 2-1 overall against Wawrinka, beat him in their only contest in 2010, a decisive 6-2, 6-4 match at ATP Valencia.
Both of these players fell in the third round of the Australian Open last year and both, mid-career, should be hungry for the 4th round this year.
Monfils, the higher ranked player at world number 12, has been the more consistent player in the last year and he is much more athletic than Wawrinka. However the Swiss number 2 has come on strong in the last several months including a charge at the US Open that saw him beat Andy Murray en route to the quarterfinals.
Wawrinka, who has a title already in 2011, has been working with a new coach for a little while now. If the Swiss player can beat Monfils and advance to the 4th round for the first time at Melbourne Park then it would be a clear message that Wawrinka is ready for new heights.
Monfils has not been sharp at the Australian Open despite winning both of his opening matches as he dropped two sets to Thiemo de Bakker in the first round. In the second round Frederico Gil, ranked just 91st, was able to beat the Frenchman in a set and it looks like Monfils has some kinks right now in his game that his 3rd round opponent may be able to expose.