The 2011 Montreal Masters have narrowed down to quarterfinalists and the first match to be played on Friday will be between six seed Mardy Fish and 14 seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
Fish and Wawrinka are both veterans on tour, however, they have only met one time in the past during a quarterfinal match from New Haven in 2007. Fish took down that hard court match 6-3, 6-3 and the American is a mild favorite to win on Friday and to advance to the semifinals at the Canadian Masters.
In fact, Fish has a draw all the way to the final in Montreal—if the seed holds up. That would serve the American well ahead of his big ranking points defense coming up in Cincinnati, a Masters tournament where he made the final last year before losing to Federer.
Wawrinka will also be looking forward to a chance to make the final in Montreal and the Swiss player has looked dangerous through the first three rounds in Quebec. Wawrinka is 5-1 in sets played having beaten David Nalbandian, Michael Russell and Kevin Anderson so far and with a win on Friday he will stand an excellent chance of making the championship match.
Fish had some trouble with a resurgent Ernests Gulbis on Thursday. The American could be upset in the quarters as Wawrinka appears to be playing better in Tornoto than he has in quite some time.
Although Wawrinka has dropped some bad losses recently—including a loss to Marcel Granollers in Gstaad and a loss at Wimbledon to 116th ranked Simone Bolelli—I predict that he will come out on top against Fish.
Fish and Wawrinka will open central court on Friday with a starting time scheduled for 12 pm ET.