GIANT-KILLING Stan Wawrinka admitted that he scaled new heights in stunning world No1 Novak Djokovic and claiming his maiden French Open title yesterday.
Eighth seed Wawrinka overpowered Djokovic to record a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 success in three hours and 12 minutes at Roland Garros, in the process wrecking the Serbian’s bid to net a career grand slam.
In winning the second Major of his career, following success at the Australian Open in 2014, only a second win in 18 meetings between the duo also saw Switzerland’s Wawrinka end Djokovic’s 28-match unbeaten streak.
Djokovic had dispatched nine-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal as well as Britain’s world No3 Andy Murray on his way to a third French Open final, and was the overwhelming favourite to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires.
“To play against Novak is a huge challenge. He is a very fair player but I played the match of my life,” said Wawrinka.
“My first thoughts are with my team. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s finally paid off. Sometimes they kicked my backside but it worked. That’s what we’re here for.
“It’s just immense to beat Novak. I know for him Roland Garros was very important. He deserves to win here.”
World No9 Wawrinka’s enthralling display included 60 winners as eight-time grand slam champion Djokovic remained without a clay-court title and failed in his quest to become just the eighth male in history to complete the set of all four Major trophies.
“It was not easy to stand their as a runner-up again but I lost to a better player who played some courageous tennis and deserved to win,” conceded Djokovic, who was beaten by Nadal in last year’s final.
“You go through different emotions and I was of course more nervous than any other match, it is the final of Roland Garros.
“At least I am proud of the fight I put into this match. I tried my best, but it wasn’t to be.”