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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Stan Wawrinka: Novak Djokovic deserves to win the French Open

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland (L) hugs Novak Djokovic of Serbia after winning their men's final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, June 7, 2015
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland (L) hugs Novak Djokovic of Serbia after winning their men's final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, June 7, 2015

Stan Wawrinka insists Novak Djokovic will win the French Open one day and complete his career grand slam after he denied the Serb with a shock four-set victory in the final on Sunday.

Djokovic entered Philippe Chatrier court as strong favourite to secure his first title at Roland Garros but Wawrinka turned the form book upside down with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 comeback victory.

The loss brings an end to Djokovic's 28-match unbeaten streak and means his winless run in Paris now extends to 11 attempts.

"I have a lot of respect for him and his team, he's a great friend," Wawrinka said.

"I know he's looking for that title. I hope he will get it one day because he deserves one."

The Swiss added: "He's the number one and has won so many titles. I'm really happy to have won it, but for sure I know he's feeling bad and is desperate for this title.

"I'm sure he's going to get one one day because he's so strong."

Wawrinka lost the first set after dropping his serve in the seventh game but the 30-year-old was in command thereafter, driving Djokovic back with his aggressive groundshots and finding the corners with a number of brilliant backhands.

The eighth seed hit 60 winners to Djokovic's 30 and his dominance could have been more pronounced had he taken more than four of his 15 break points.

It was only Wawrinka's second win in 18 meetings against Djokovic and the world number nine now has a second major title to add to his success at the Australian Open last year.

"It is amazing," Wawrinka said.

"I still have a problem really realising that I've won the French Open.

"It's always the same after winning a big title, you are a little bit lost in your mind.

"It's a great feeling but at the same time I need to realise what I did. I'm proud of winning tonight against Novak. He's such a tough player to play, especially in the final. "

Djokovic looked to have come through his toughest tests in the tournament, having beaten nine-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals and then Britain's third seed Andy Murray in the last four.

The clash with Nadal was billed as a potential championship decider while his victory over Murray spanned over two days, giving Wawrinka an additional day's rest.

"I don't want to come up with excuses, saying these two matches took a lot out of me," the Serbian said.

"I don't think that's fair to Stan. I don't think that's fair to sit here and whine now about what has happened.

"Certainly those two matches were very big in terms of physical demand and mental, emotional, as well.

"But, still, I was today feeling pretty fresh as much as I could. I was ready to go out and fight, and I have done so.

"Maybe in some important moments I didn't feel I had that explosiveness in the legs, but at the end of the day he was just a better player."

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