New York: World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka managed to wear down No. 1 ranked Serb Novak Djokovic and beat the defending champion 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday for his first US Open title and third Grand Slam trophy overall.
The 31-year-old Wawrinka from Switzerland is the oldest US Open men’s champion since Ken Rosewall was 35 in 1970, and entered Sunday having spent almost exactly twice as much time on court as Djokovic during the course of the tournament- about 18 hours vs. about 9 hours.
By breaking in the final game of the second and third sets, and by saving 14 of 17 break points he faced, Wawrinka already had gained the upper hand by the time Djokovic clutched at his left leg and grimaced after missing a forehand while getting broken early in the fourth.
Djokovic was granted the unusual chance to have a medical timeout at a time other than a changeover. He removed both shoes and socks so a trainer could help with toe blisters. Wawrinka complained about the 6—minute break, and Djokovic looked over and apologized. Later, Djokovic started limping and received more treatment.
Wawrinka has won only five of his 24 career meetings against Djokovic, but has now beaten the 12—time major champion on the way to each of his own Grand Slam titles, including in the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals and 2015 French Open final.
And he did it Sunday by coming back against Djokovic, whose French Open title in June completed a career Grand Slam and made him only the third man and first in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive major tournaments.
Think about this- Wawrinka nearly was gone before the end of the US Open’s first week. He was one point from losing in the third round against 64-ranked Dan Evans, but eventually won in five sets. So Sunday’s victory made Wawrinka the first man to win the US Open after saving a match point since yes, that’s right Djokovic in 2011.