How Stanislas Wawrinka took Roland Garros by storm

By Marcus Foley on 08/06/2015

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Wawrinka grooves on

Forget the breathtaking backhands, formidable forehands and astonishing aces that Stanislas Wawrinka produced during his magnificent run to the French Open title -- it was his bizarre red and white checked shorts that stole the limelight on Sunday.

Where did he get the design? A pair of pyjamas tucked away in his father's wardrobe, or was it from a 1970's wallpaper still hanging on an old relative's house? Perhaps it was from a blanket handed down in the family over generations.

The hullabaloo over his "lost property" park-player outfit was not lost on the new champion on Sunday as he draped the baggy shorts over the dais in front of him, placing them next to the gleaming Musketeers' Cup.

"I know a lot of people talk about it, and it's quite funny that they won the French Open," grinned Wawrinka after joining the likes of Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl in completing the boys' trophy-Musketeers' Cup double at Roland Garros.

A few days after declaring he was going to "swim, play tennis and then sleep in them", he announced that the star attraction of the 2015 French Open was heading for a new home.

"They will be in the museum of Roland Garros. You will see my shorts every day if you want," he added to hoots of laughter.

"Everybody talks about those shorts since I put them on. Apparently I'm the only one who likes it."

Jokes aside, Wawrinka was still struggling to digest the fact that he had won a second Grand Slam title, and did it by overcoming a player who had until Sunday, been unbeatable on clay in 2015.

Novak Djokovic was on a 28 match winning streak. The world number one had beaten nine-times champion Rafa Nadal and third seed Andy Murray to enter the final with a 16-0 record on clay this year.

The Serb had also beaten Wawrinka in 17 of their previous 20 meetings.

Despite the stats stacked against him, Wawrinka showed that what happens in the past does not dictate the future.

"To say that I won the French Open, it's something completely crazy," said the 30-year-old.

"Winning this one is really special, playing Novak here in final, the number one player. He won almost everything since beginning of the year.

"I'm still surprised the way I played, because I think I played amazing today. I was really nervous but I didn't choke. I was always going for my shots."

A slow-starter who won his first major at the Australian Open 18 months ago, Wawrinka added: "It's quite strange when I tell myself that I have an (Olympic) gold medal, the Davis Cup and two grand slams. It's quite amazing. Never expected that so late in my career."

By denying Djokovic victory, Wawrinka defied all predictions and stopped the Serb’s Grand Slam ambitions in their tracks. He described it courtside as “the game of my life”. Wawrinka, seeded eight here, as he was when he beat the then number one Rafael Nadal for his first slam title, in Melbourne last year, moves to fourth in the rankings, while the Spaniard drops to 10th, the first time he has been in double digits since April 2005.

It has been the tournament of fallen heroes, Wawrinka beating his compatriot and 17-slam champion Roger Federer in the quarters, with Djokovic succumbing when least expected – and refusing to blame fatigue after a semi-final of more than four hours against Andy Murray, completed the previous day.

Just when you thought men’s tennis had settled into a steady pattern under the absolute monarchy of Novak Djokovic, the unassuming Stan Wawrinka popped up today to deliver a display of such thrilling, fearless strokeplay that surely no-one who was lucky enough to be on Court Philippe Chatrier will ever forget it.

If the realities of sport tend to suggest that the rational, percentage approach is the one that brings results, then Wawrinka’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory was also a victory for the romantics. He delivered on every level, serving like a siege-gun and unleashing his picture-perfect backhand with gusto. The shot of the tournament may have been the ripping backhand winner that he hit from so wide that it actually went around the net, threading the tiny gap between the post and the IBM box that stands next to it.

 

Source Eurosport

Posted on June, 8 2015

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