Modest Stanislas Wawrinka insists he does not deserve to be included among the elite of men’s tennis despite swelling his grand slam tally to three by winning the US Open on Sunday.
Wawrinka, who beat world No1 Novak Djokovic 6-7 (6-1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3, is the only man outside of the Big Four – Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray – to win multiple Majors since 2005.
The Swiss 31-year-old now has as many grand slams as Murray and is just a Wimbledon title shy of a career grand slam, yet he believes talk of a Big Five remains premature.
“The Big Four, I’m really far from them. Just look at the tournaments they won, how many years they have been there,” said Wawrinka, whose win in New York earned him $3.5m (£2.6m) – the game’s biggest payday.
“If you look, yes, I have three grand slams. How many Masters 1000 [titles] has Murray? They have been there 10 years. That’s why I’m not there. I don’t want to be there.”
Late bloomer Wawrinka did not win multiple tournaments in a single season until 2014 and has just one Masters series crown. Britain’s Murray has won 12, while Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are all in double figures for grand slam titles.
Wawrinka has engineered a growing reputation as a big-match performer, however. All three of his grand slam wins have come against the No1 of the time, while he is unbeaten in 11 finals.
“He deserves to be in the mix, no doubt about it,” said Djokovic. “Stan won three grand slams now and three different ones, [an] Olympic medal, been around for so many years, and he plays best in the big matches.”