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article imageStan Wawrinka beats Djokovic in French Open Final

By Daryl Hammond     Jun 7, 2015 in Sports
Paris - Stanislas Wawrinka provided a welcome shock to the Roland Garros crowd, as he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic to win his first French Open title.
The Swiss star rallied from a set down to beat the heavily-tipped favourite, winning the match 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 4-6 in just over three hours.
With clay court king Rafael Nadal out of the tournament, many thought this would be the year Djokovic lifted the one trophy which had always eluded his grasp. And proceedings seemed to be following the script as one break is all it took for the Serbian to take the first set.
But any of the skill and athleticism Djokovic displayed in the opening exchanges deserted him in the second set. He barely kept his serve until Wawrinka broke the Serb at 5-4 to level the scores.
Djokovic's fatigue was starting to show and frustration evident as he smashed his racket. He was forced to delay his five-set semi-final victory over Andy Murray until Saturday, losing a day's rest. Wawrinka made use of his advantage, breaking his opponent in the sixth game and comfortably saw out the third set, making good use of that powerful one-handed backhand for which he his famed.
Facing the prospect of another French Open setback, Djokovic took the initiative in the fourth set, racing into a three-game lead. But just as quickly, his Swiss opponent broke back and levelled the set at 3-3. Djokovic was handed three opportunities to break Wawrinka's serve in the seventh game, but capitulated terrible, losing the game. I was clear the Serb's luck was out, as Wawrinka broke again and served for the championship.
The newly-crowned champion was quick to thank those around him for his success:
"To play against Novak is a huge challenge,” he told the crowd in Phillippe Chatrier. "He’s a very fair player but I played the match of my life. My first thoughts are with my team. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s finally paid off. Sometimes they kicked my backside but it worked. That’s why we’re here."
"It’s just immense to beat Novak. I know for him Roland Garros was very important. He deserves to win here. The crowd was amazing, really nice, great atmosphere to play in. I hope you all enjoyed it."
Now aged 30, Wawrinka has bode his time for major success. He has played the best tennis of his career over the past 18 months, moving up to fourth in the ATP world rankings.
Novak Djokovic meanwhile will wonder if he will get a better opportunity to complete his collection of major trophies. He insists he will endeavour to do so next year:
"I want to say congratulations to Stan and it is not very easy for me to speak now, there are things that are more important in life than victories and that is character and respect - Stan you are a great champion with big heart. I want to say thank you to my team, my wife and the French public. I will be back next year to try again to win the title."
Both players will be preparing for Wimbledon, which is the next major tournament and begins in three weeks time.
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