Monday, 12 September 2016

Stan Wawrinka wins US Open

Stan Wawrinka has definitively taken over as Switzerland's number one tennis player.  Sadly that has been pronounced by the extended absence of Roger Federer through injury.  However,  apart from Novak Djokovic, no one has won multiple majors over the past three years other than Stan, and he added the 2016 US Open to his trophy cabinet in fine style earlier today Australian time.

Despite the head to head record between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, which is skewed heavily in Novak's favour, the Swiss ace has proved a big headache for the world number one at Grand Slam level.  En route to his debut major in Melbourne 2014, Stan knocked over Novak in the quarters, and in the Roland Garros final last year Stan cost Novak a chance of a Calendar Year Grand Slam.

In NYC, and on the final day, Novak gained the initial service break and led 3-0 after a solid consolidation.  At 2-5 and 15-40 Stan fought off 2 set points before holding serve with backhand and forehand winners.  In hindsight this could well have been the turning point of the match.
Novak suddenly threw in a brace of errors to be 0-40.  He saved two break points, one with an ace, but a double fault handed the service break to Stan and eventually a tie break was required.

Djokovic raced through to a 7-1 win thanks mainly to a string of Swiss mistakes, and took the set 7-6.

Stan was not as generous for the remainder of the match.
In the fourth game of set two Novak let a 40-15 lead slip, helped by a loose backhand and a double fault.  The break point was converted with a typically destructive Stan backhand.
Novak was clearly under pressure and seeming unlikely to recover, but out of the blue he struck back in the seventh game.  A backhand winner of his own set up a break point which was converted into a 3-4 game score, then 4-4 after a comfortable hold.

That was it for set two as far as Novak was concerned.  At 4-5 he lost serve on the second break point and the sets were one apiece.
14 unforced errors from a normally so tidy Djokovic was a telling second set stat.

Set three saw Stan leading 3-0 pretty smartly following a service break in the second game - a winning forehand set up break point and Novak obliged with another error.
In game 5, Stan hit two backhand winners and a forehand volley winner and had 40-15.
Then a mixture of forced and unforced errors eventually gave Novak a break back point which was converted and 3-3 the score.

At 5-6, Novak led 40-30 and a tie break seemed assured, and appropriate given the evenness of the set.  However the Serb backhand was broken down, losing him the final three points of the game and set.  Stan led 6-7 6-4 7-5.

Novak was suffering in a scarily similar way to Roland Garros 2015 where he won the opening set, only to lose the rest.

Set four was the start of celebrations for Stan as he broke serve in the second game once again.  It was the only service break for the set in which there were 12 crisp winners from the Swiss racquet, and only a handful of hand made errors.
Novak was almost resigned to the result, as he struggled to handle the quality being delivered from the other side of the net.

Stan Wawrinka won the match 6-7 (1) 6-4 7-5 6-3 and joined Andy Murray as a three time major winner.  Novak maintains a fine record of course, although his return from US Open finals is annoying - 2 titles from 7 appearances.

Stan has won his 3 Grand Slam titles from 3 finals.  In fact he is a safe bet whenever he makes any final.
Clearly he is the number three ranked player in the world now, and hopefully he is more consistent on tour following his latest big triumph.

No comments:

Post a Comment