(September 11, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Stan Wawrinka stands just a Wimbledon title away from a career Grand Slam. The Swiss, ranked No. 3 beat 12-time major champion and No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, to win the US Open on Sunday evening for this third major championship.
Wawrinka, coming into the match was 4-19 against Djokovic, but last beat the Serb in last year’s French Open final. The Swiss is now 3-0 in major finals.
Djokovic took a 3-0 lead to begin the match, but Wawrinka broke back in the ninth game when Djokovic was serving for the set at 5-3. The set went to a tiebreaker in which Djokovic destroyed his opponent 7-1.
The next set saw the Swiss go up a break first and take a 4-1 lead, but the Serb fought back to get even on serve to get to 3-4. Serving at 4-5, the two-time US Open winner double faulted to give back the break and lose the set to Wawrinka 6-4.
In the third set Wawrinka broke serve at 5-6 from 30-0 down to win the set.
Wawrinka struck early in the fourth set breaking Djokovic in the second game and holding for 3-0. Djokovic fought valiantly in the fourth game to gold his serve for 1-3. Djokovic took a medidal time out to have the trainer look at his feet. Wawrinka was very upset by this, saying that Djokovic should have done this on his own serve. Djokovic apologized to Wawrinka as he was getting treatment saying that he couldn’t stand. It was a six minute delay in play due to the mediacal time out.
Djokovic had three break points to draw even, but Wawrinka fought off the world No. 1 to hold for 4-1. Djokovic had an easy service game holding at love for 2-4. Wawrinka held on to win the set and the match 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.
During the trophy ceremony, Wawrinka made note of Sunday being the anniversary of 9/11: “It’s been a big battle on the court … four hours,” Wawrinka said. “But I just want to remember what happened 15 years ago.”
“Yeah, this is amazing, for sure, amazing two weeks,” 31-year-old Wawrinka said in his news conference. “I spend so much time on the court. Today I knew it will be a really tough battle again playing the No. 1 player, Novak Djokovic, who always push you to play your best tennis if you want to beat him.
“That’s why I start to do, and I try to do. Was not only in the tennis side but physically and mentally was really tough, again. Honestly after the match I was completely empty. I put everything on the court. Not only today, but the past two weeks.
“Today I was trying to stay with him. I was trying to be tough with myself. Trying not to show anything. Not to show any pain. Not to show any cramp. Not to show anything. I was suffering on the court, but I’m happy and proud with what I have achieved today.”
“If you want to beat the No. 1 player in the world, you have to give everything,” he admitted.
“As I said the other day, you have to accept to suffer and you have almost to enjoy to suffer. Because I think this Grand Slam was the most painful, physically and mentally, Grand Slam that I ever played.
“As I said, I was feeling tired already at the beginning of the match. I was feeling the cramp coming in the third set. In the fourth set I had some pain, but most important was what was clear with Magnus before was not to show anything. Not to show anything. Give everything and keep fighting and go try to win it.”
Asked in press if Wif should be the “big 5″ instead of the” big 4″, Djokovic said,”Well, I mean, he deserves to be in the mix, no doubt about it. Stan won three Grand Slams now and three different ones; Olympic medal. Been around for so many years, and he plays best in the big matches.
“I mean, he definitely deserves to be mentioned in the mix of top players.”
When Wawrinka was asked about he said: “The Big 4, I’m really far from them. Just look the tournament they won, how many years they been there. If you look, yes, I have three Grand Slams. How many Masters 1000 have Murray? They have been there since ten years.
“They have not only been winning, but being in semifinal, final every time. That’s why I’m not there. I don’t want to be there. For me, there is no question about that. But I’m trying the best I can with my career.
“I’m really, really happy with what I’m doing so far. I’m proud of myself by winning three Grand Slam. This is something I never expect and dream about it, but I have them and I’m happy to take the trophy back home.”
Wawrinka has won his last 11 straight finals.
Wawrinka has now beaten Djokovic from a set down on three occasions in majors – the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals, the 2015 French Open final and this year’s US Open final. Djokovic holds a 19-5 lead in their head-to-head records.
Looking at the match statistics, Wawrinka hit 46 winners to 51 unforced errors, while Djokovic hit 30 winners to 46 unforced errors. The Swiss was 6 for 10 on break points and the Serb was only three for 17.
“I just didn’t capitalize at all on my opportunities, said the 28-year-old Djokovic. “I had plenty of them, break points. It was a terrible conversion of the break points. Just terrible from my side.
“You know, in the matches like this, if you don’t use the opportunities, the other guy comes and takes it. And that’s what he did. That’s why I said he was more courageous, because he stepped in and played aggressive where I was kind of more waiting for things to happen.
“And that’s it.”
More to follow….