Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland won his first U.S. Open Tennis championship late Sunday, beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in Flushing Meadows, New York 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.
“This is honestly amazing,” Wawrinka told the crowd and a worldwide television audience before being presented with his $3.5 million first prize check. “I came here without expecting, without having the goal to win the match. . . but every time I stepped on the court I tried to win every match. I am completely empty.”
Wawrinka played at an exceptionally high level, even after Djokovic was given a controversial medical timeout in the fourth set while trailing 3-1. Although it appeared Djokovic was cramping, he had his trainer provide treatment for a toe.
The break lasted more than six minutes, and the U.S. television broadcasters pointed out that medical breaks are supposed to be taken during changeovers, or between sets, unless there is an acute condition that requires immediate treatment. The on-court microphones captured Djokovic telling Wawrinka, “Stan, sorry man, I couldn’t stand it.”
Wawrinka had complained to the chair umpire, “He can see the physio whenever he wants. He could have done it while he was still serving.”
The incident seem to put the crowd clearly behind Wawrinka, and especially after Djokovic, the defending champion, asked for further treatment trailing 5-2. That break last more than four minutes.
Again, Wawrinka did not let the stoppage rattle him and after Djokovic won the next game, Wawrinka held serve to take the match.
It was the third major of his career after winning the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open. Overall, he has won the last 11 times he has reached the finals of a tournament.
Djokovic said Wawrinka deserved this U.S. Open title. “He was better. He played the bigger points with a bit more courage. We played almost four hours, and we both felt it. It was a demanding match physically. I was unlucky in some moments.”
The third-seeded Swiss can look forward to trying to complete a career Grand Slam if he can win Wimbledon.
The 31-year-old Wawrinka won an Olympic doubles gold medal with former world No. 1 Roger Federer at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he and Federer led Switzerland to its first Davis Cup championship in 2014.
Before he completed his on-court TV interview Sunday, Wawrinka said he wanted to offer one final thought: “There are many more important things than tennis matches. I want to remember what happened 15 years ago.” That, of course, was a reference to the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States, where the most casualties came in New York.
Source: Voice of America.