Picture all your high school girlfriends/crushes. Line them up against the wall and admire the sight. How satisfying, soothing to the mind and body it feels. Now multiply that feeling by 10 and you’d have an idea how Stan Wawrinka backhand winner down the line feels with a pumping fist that follows right up. The Stanimal has one of the most brutal and effective strokes in the modern day in his Arsenal. Some days he’s on song, it’s like sex being served on a platter rounded with whipped cream atop. Largely with the help of such strokes, the Swiss #1 picked up his third grand-slam title last night by beating world #1 Novak Djokovic. The sets went 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-5 6-3 in over 4 hours of exhilarating tennis. This was his maiden US Open triumph. Now he’s one Wimbledon away from completing his career grand-slam.
Wawrinka had clawed himself to the finals after coming through tricky and tough draw. Stan’s endurance and stamina were put to some real test during the course of this tournament. Djokovic on the other hand clearly lacked practice. It was evident from his rusty, lacklustre performance against Monfils in the semi-finals. It was further reiterated in the finals. A staggering fact that, Wawrinka had spent almost twice as long as Djokovic ( 18 hours compared to a little over 9) on the court, during this tournament courtesy the retirements and walkovers that came the way of the Serbian.
The first set was all Djokovic ever really managed to get hold of during the match. Breaking Stan in his very first service game. The first set went on on serve until Novak failed to close out the set and got broken back in the 10th game. The set was eventually decided on a tie breaker which Djokovic dominated entirely, largely down to Wawrinka’s unforced errors. However, a positive sign of things to come was the Swiss’ heavenly backhand, which showed glimpses of revival in the latter stages of this set. Being largely invisible during the first half.
The next 2 sets followed a similar fashion. Wawrinka raced into a 3-1 lead in the third. Then got pegged back as Djokovic broke to level the set up at 4 games all. Stan served out the penultimate game during the 3rd set. Only for Novak to get broken in his final service game and handing the set to Stan. Wawrinka was dominant at this point. He looked the better player on the court and Djokovic seemed to be struggling with a foot injury.
His trademark of pointing his right index finger to his temple was becoming ever so common on display with every passing game that he had to dig deep to get on the end of. Unlike the 3rd set though, Djokovic never really recovered in the 4th. Having been broken early again, Stan was up 3-1 when the Serb called for a trainer, much to the dismay of his counterpart. He was treated for blisters on his feet which caused a decent delay and disruption to Stan’s momentum. Wawrinka however held his nerve and his serve. Djokovic had no way back into the match eventually taking the 4th set 6-3 and bagging his first US Open title.
Make no mistake; Stanislas Wawrinka’s story is nothing short of miraculous. Having been under Federer’s shadow most of his career, he has stamped his authority on the world stage in the last ¾ years. In fact, Wawrinka had to until his 35th GrandSlam appearance just to get to the semifinals for the first time. This was his 11th straight victory in finals, his third straight grand-slam final win and to make it sweeter. He’s beaten Novak Djokovic enroute all 3 of his GS triumphs. Put into perspective that he was one point from losing in the third round against Dan Evans and this victory seems even more emphatic. A thrilling, yet sloppy final that was totally worth staying up in the wee hours of the morning.
Congratulations to the Stanimal and here’s hoping Wimbledon 2017 completes his full circle.
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