Stan Wawrinka was victorious in the 2016 US Open final after defeating World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the grand final.
Wawrinka won 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to add the US title under his belt; it was his third grand slam victory after his triumphs at the 2014 Australia Open and the 2015 French Open.
At 31, Wawrinka was also the oldest male winner of the US Open since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall’s triumph in 1970, and the fifth man in the Open era to win more than one major tournament after turning 30, following Rosewall, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors.
He also managed to hit 46 winners in a brilliant display of confident shot-making while Djokovic started strongly but struggled physically later on in the match that spanned four hours.
But Wawrinka’s confident performance was contradictory towards his pre-match nerves, when he broke down in tears while speaking to his coach Magnus Norman.
“Before the final I was really nervous like never before. I was shaking in the locker-room,” said the Swiss. “When we start talking five minutes before the match, last few things with Magnus, I start to cry. I was completely shaking.”
Physically I was there. My game was there. Just put the fight on the court and you will have a chance to win. And that’s what happened, after a few games when I start to believe in myself, I start to be in the match.”
Djokovic (left) believes that tennis now has a “big five” after Wawrinka’s US Open triumph.
Novak Djokovic says tennis now has a ‘big five’ following Stan Wawrinka’s US Open triumph.
“He plays best in the big matches and definitely deserves to be mentioned in the mix of top players,” he said.
But world number three Wawrinka insisted that he was “really far” from the ‘big four’ of Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The four of them have won 42 of the past 47 Grand Slams, although Wawrinka now has the same number of major titles as Murray.
“Just look at the tournaments they have won, how many years they’ve been there,” Wawrinka said. “If you look, yes, I have three Grand Slams. How many Masters 1000 has Murray?”
“They have been there 10 years. They have not only been winning, but being in semi-finals, final every time. That’s why I’m not there.”