Competing in an era dominated by the so-called “Big Four” has been the greatest of challenges for Stan Wawrinka, but the 31-year-old Swiss proved here once again that on his day he can be more than a match for anyone. After an up-and-down year Wawrinka’s name had barely been mentioned by pundits before this US Open, but the world No 3 claimed the third Grand Slam title of his career with a stunning 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic was appearing in his 19th final in the last 25 Grand Slam tournaments – 11 of which he has won – but while the world No 1 has regularly got the better of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in recent times, Wawrinka has consistently found a way past him on the biggest stages. Since Djokovic lost to Nadal here in the 2013 US Open final, Wawrinka is the only player who has beaten him more than once in Grand Slam competition.
Remarkably, Wawrinka has now performed that feat three times in the last three years, having previously lost to the Serb 14 times in a row. The Swiss beat Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open en route to his first Grand Slam title in 2014 and in the final of the French Open last year, when he thwarted – if only temporarily – the world No 1’s attempt to complete his collection of Grand Slam titles.
Now it is Wawrinka who is one short of the full set, having never gone beyond the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. His three Grand Slam titles puts him level with Murray. Meanwhile another Briton who played here will no doubt be wondering what might have been; Dan Evans had a match point against Wawrinka in the third round before losing in five sets.
Here you can watch Full Highlights from the match: