Wawrinka tops Djokovic in French final, denying career Slam

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Djokovic Through to French Open Final

PARIS (AP) — Stan Wawrinka won the French Open by beating No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the final Sunday, thwarting Djokovic's bid to complete a career Grand Slam.

The eighth-seeded Wawrinka, so long in the shadow of his Swiss Davis Cup teammate and pal, Roger Federer, collected his second major title after last year's Australian Open.

In doing so, Wawrinka put a stop to Djokovic's 28-match winning streak and left the 28-year-old Serb ruing another close call at Roland Garros. This was the third time in the last four years that Djokovic lost in the final at the clay-court tournament, the only major title he has never won.

9 PHOTOS
French Open
See Gallery
Wawrinka tops Djokovic in French final, denying career Slam
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka holds the trophy after winning the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka kisses the trophy after winning the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic hugs Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, left, after Wawrinka won the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 7, 2015. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns in the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka returns the ball to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka raises his arms after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic, behind, in their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Paris. Wawrinka won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, hugs Serbia's Novak Djokovic after their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Paris. Wawrinka won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, right, holds the trophy after winning the men's final of the French Open tennis tournament in four sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, against Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

This one ended, fittingly, with a down-the-line backhand winner from the 30-year-old Wawrinka. That's his best stroke and considered among the best in the game. He tossed his racket overhead, then met Djokovic at the net for a hug.

Wawrinka, who earned 1.8 million euros (about $2 million), was making his 11th French Open appearance, equaling Federer and Andre Agassi for most attempts before winning it.

This was also Djokovic's 11th French Open, and he has so far been unable to clutch the trophy he so dearly desires. He has won eight Grand Slam titles, with five at the Australian Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open.

He's made quite clear how much it would mean to him to become the eighth man in tennis history with a full complement of at least one title from each major tournament. Djokovic has now lost in the semifinals or final seven times, including the last five years.

In 2012 and 2014, losses in the final came against nine-time champion Rafael Nadal. And while Djokovic finally managed to clear the considerable hurdle that Nadal presents by defeating him in the quarterfinals, this time it was Wawrinka who stood in the way.

And he was too good, using the same brilliant one-handed backhand and booming serves that eliminated Federer in the quarterfinals.

After Djokovic appeared to be climbing back into the match by racing to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set, Wawrinka reeled off six of the last seven games. He broke to within 3-2 when Djokovic netted a forehand on a 31-stroke exchange, one of many lengthy points in a terrifically played match.

Wawrinka got another break, the final one he'd need, for a 5-4 edge, with — yes, of course — a down-the-line backhand winner, then served out the victory.

He had lost 17 of his past 20 matches against Djokovic but was better on this sunlit afternoon.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners