Roger Federer with his 17 major titles is rightly regarded as the “greatest tennis player” ever. At the age of 19 when he defeated Pete Sampras, another legend, the tennis world was promised of a “rising star”. And he turned out to be a legend himself.
For all these years, Federer ruled the world as the “Swiss legend,” overshadowing his compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka who is four years younger than him. But over the past couple of years, Stan (as he is known to his fans) has overcome that shadow.
On Sunday, in a physical showdown against Serbian world number 1, Novak Djokovic who dethroned Spaniard Rafael Nadal from Rolland Garros after five years, Stan played some beautiful tennis, leaving the crowd in awe.
After losing the first set, 6-4, Wawrinka, world number 8 came back roaring – getting the upper hand in longer rallies, and controlling the baseline, making Djokovic work really hard to hit a winner.
A match that lasted for 3 hours 12 minutes, and spread in four sets saw both the players bring out their best shots – scampering, and covering the whole court to retrieve every single ball.
But Wawrinka showed resilience, flaunting a “cool under pressure” countenance, and took control of the match after the first set. Djokovic could do little about it; Stan looked inspired, and rejuvenated.
He looked a complete player with great serves, killer single-handed backhands, and forehands as well that he have improved a lot in the past few years.
From the start of this year’s Rolland Garros, the bets lied heavily on Novak Djokovic. Not only is he the world number 1, but looked confident, and pumped up enough to finally clinch the Coupe des Mousquetaires (the French Open trophy). Nadal’s poor form declined him to enjoy being the favourite. The other bets lied on the other two in “Big Four,” Andy Murray and Roger Federer.
But Stan turned the tables around.
When it comes to stunning the top seeds, the Swiss is known to rise up to the occasion. Last year, he ousted Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final, reducing the Spaniard to tears during and after the match.
Novak faced the same fate too as Sunday’s post match ceremony saw him break down into tears while the crowd chanted his name, honouring the marvelous show of tennis that he has entertained us with for the past fortnight.
Showing great sportsmanship, Djokovic appreciated Wawrinka’s success. In a report by news.com.au, he said: “Obviously it was not easy to stand there as a runner-up again, but I lost to a better player who played some courageous tennis and deserved to win.”
Decorous in defeat, Djokovic thanked the crowd for boosting his motivation. In the same report, he said, “They are truly respectful fans and I thank them very much, very much for these emotions I felt on the court.”
Wawrinka thanked his coach, Magnus Norman for the support. According to a report by BBC, he said: “I would like to thank my coach Magnus Norman. You played in the final without winning but this victory is yours as well as mine.”
Under Norman’s guidance, Wawrinka has scored a perfect 2-0 in grand slam finals, winning both the Australian Open, last year and French Open yesterday.
With such a painful loss, Djokovic will be going to Wimbledon in the coming weeks with a lot of pressure. He has to defend his title as well as find answers to Stan who seems to be playing the best tennis of his life.
— Eurosport (@Eurosport) June 7, 2015