Monday, June 8, 2015

French Open Day 15: Wawrinka stuns Djokovic for title

Stan Wawrinka celebrates after winning a point during a light-
hearted drill at Indian Wells in March. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Men's singles final — With a spectacular display of shotmaking, eighth-seeded Stan Wawrinka toppled No. 1 Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 6-4 for his second Grand Slam title.
   Wawrinka, who had been 3-17 against Djokovic, ended the Serb's winning streak at 29 matches and prevented him from becoming the eighth man to achieve a career Grand Slam.
   Djokovic lost in the French Open final for the third time. He had eliminated nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and two-time major winner Andy Murray in the semifinals.
   It's possible that Wawrinka -- with his powerful serve and groundstrokes, including a gorgeous one-handed backhand -- would have beaten anyone on Sunday and in last year's Australian Open final. However, he also had luck on his side each time.
   Nadal was hobbled by a back injury in Melbourne, and Wawrinka was more rested than Djokovic in Paris. While the 30-year-old Swiss had Saturday off, the 28-year-old Djokovic played the last set and a half of his 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Murray after rain suspended play on Friday night.
   Djokovic might have wilted after the first set against Wawrinka. Furthermore, when Wawrinka ripped a backhand passing shot down the line on his second championship point, Djokovic could have run for the ball but didn't. 
   Stars and stripes — Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic won their second straight Grand Slam women's doubles title. The seventh seeds defeated No. 12 Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
   Northern California connection — Mattek-Sands has reached the doubles semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford twice, in 2006 with Sania Mirza and 2009 with Nadia Petrova. Mattek-Sands has not played in the tournament since 2010.
   Fast facts — Wawrinka became the oldest men's champion at Roland Garros since Andres Gomez, a slightly older 30-year-old, shocked Andre Agassi in 1990.
   In the past two years, Wawrinka has won two Grand Slam titles to countryman Roger Federer's none. 
   It's no coincidence that Wawrinka has won both of his Grand Slam titles since Magnus Norman became his coach in May 2013. Wawrinka dedicated the French Open crown to Norman, the runner-up to Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros in 2000 and the former coach of two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling.
   Quotes — Wawrinka: "I played the match of my life."
   Djokovic, tearing up during the awards ceremony after a long ovation from the crowd: "It's not easy for me to speak right now, but I have to say that in life some things are more important than victories, and those are character and respect. I have great respect for you, Stan. You are a great champion with a big heart, and you deserve this title."
   Djokovic, on whether completing his semifinal victory on Saturday affected him in the final: "Maybe in some important moments, I didn't feel I had that explosivity in the legs, but look, in the end of the day, he was just a better player."

1 comment:

  1. Watch Novak and Wawrinka ATP BNP Paribas Open tennis semifinal at Paris Masters Nov 7 2015, at 9:00 PM. Watch Novak Djokovic VS Wawrinka ATP Paribas Online