Stan Wawrinka has been on a role knocking out one after the other of the power tennis Holy Trinity consisting of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and now Novak Djokovic. Yes, some call them the Power 3 but these guys play on a whole other level, and the only person who been consistently bringing them down to earth is the Swiss Wawrinka who seems as surprised with winning the 2015 French Open title as Djokovic. He took down the worlds number one ranked tennis player in four sets, one in which he was down until he rallied back, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
This makes his second Grand Slam win, but more importantly stopped the seemingly unstoppable Serbian tennis star from taking home his first Roland Garros title. It truly seemed like nothing could stop Djokovic’s momentum as he’s knocked out everyone in his path, but Wawrinka has been doing exactly the same thing, but he doesn’t garner as much press so it’s not as noticeable to the average person. Until now.
The Swiss was warmly congratulated at the handshake by Djokovic before climbing into the stands to celebrate with his coach, Magnus Norman – the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2000 – and his family. He then returned to the court to embrace Djokovic once more.
Three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten, who beat Norman in the 2000 final, presented La Coupe des Mousquetaires to Wawrinka. There was a special and prolonged ovation for three-time runner-up Djokovic, who was moved to tears by the reception he received on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Wawrinka was rewarded for playing lights-out tennis for much of the three-hour, 12-minute contest. He struck 59 winners, almost twice as many as Djokovic, and never let his head drop as the Serb relentlessly fended off break points. After rallying from 0/40 down in the eighth game of the fourth set – having already been a break down – Wawrinka red-lined a backhand winner to break Djokovic and served out the contest, saving break point before finishing with another lethal backhand.
Wawrinka will return to the Top 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday after joining Roger Federer (2009) as the only Swiss champions at the clay-court Grand Slam. The Lausanne native added to the Australian Open crown he won in January 2014 (d. Nadal), making him just the sixth active player to win multiple major titles.
The 30-year-old Wawrinka, who won the boys’ singles title in Paris in 2003 (d. Baker), is the first former junior champion to lift the men’s singles trophy since Mats Wilander in 1988.
Wawrinka had beaten 17-time major champion and good friend Federer in the quarter-finals before denying home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals. At 30 years and 71 days, he is the third oldest first-time Roland Garros champion in the Open Era.
World No. 1 Djokovic was bidding to become the eighth man in history to complete the career Grand Slam. It is the third time that the Belgrade native has finished runner-up in Paris, having fallen to Rafael Nadal in the 2012 and 2014 finals.
The Serb had stunned nine-time Roland Garros champion Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-finals before edging Andy Murray in a five-set semi-final that spanned two days.
Djokovic was looking to win his ninth Grand Slam championship, having opened the 2015 season by triumphing at the Australian Open (d. Murray). The right-hander suffered just his third defeat of the season and saw his 28-match winning streak come to an end; his last defeat had come against Federer in the Dubai final.
Having fallen to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round last year, Wawrinka is the first player to return the following year and lift the trophy at the same Grand Slam championship since Federer won at 2003 Wimbledon. One year earlier, the Swiss had fallen in his opener to Mario Ancic at the All England Club.
Wawrinka is also the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to the Roland Garros title since Sergi Bruguera in 1993. Bruguera defeated No. 1 Pete Sampras in the quarter-finals and No. 2 Jim Courier in the final.