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Wawrinka fights back to beat Djokovic in US Open final

Last updated on: September 12, 2016 07:08 IST

Stanislas Wawrinka

IMAGE: Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates after defeating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final at the US Open on Sunday. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images.

Third seed Stanislas Wawrinka rose to the occasion once again to beat top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 and win the US Open on Sunday for the third Grand Slam title of his career.

The 31-year-old Swiss, who defeated Djokovic on his way to winning the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open, denied the world number one a third Grand Slam title this year following the Serb's wins in Australia and France.

Wawrinka trailed Djokovic 19-4 in their career head-to-head, but the hard-working Swiss saves his best for the big matches and he came through again with a superlative performance to win his 11th tour final in a row.

The Swiss was better on the most important points of the nearly four-hour final that featured long rallies and brilliant shot-making from both players.

Wawrinka cashed in on six of 10 break point opportunities against Djokovic and frustrated the Serb by saving 14 of 17 break points against him.

The victory was worth $3.5 million for Wawrinka, who is only missing a Wimbledon victory to complete the coveted career Grand Slam.

Stan Wawrinka

IMAGE: Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates after winning the third set in the men’s singles final against Novak Djokovic at the US Open on Sunday. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

After losing the third set the Serb called for medical attention on his right foot but was simply blown away by the ferocity of the Wawrinka's brilliant all-round play.

The finalists traded breaks in the third set with Warwinka striking first in the second game for a 2-0 lead, before Djokovic, who had been 2-of-12 on converting break point chances, cashed one in to bring the set back on serve at 3-2.

But as happened in the first two sets, Wawrinka was able to break the world number one late in the set this time ending it after Djokovic sent a backhand long and then a backhand wide.

Earlier, Wawrinka made it one set apiece by winning the second set.

IMAGE: Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates after defeating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final at the US Open on Sunday. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

After dropping the first-set tiebreak 7-1, the Swiss ratcheted up the pressure on the Serb and broke Djokovic in the fourth game on a backhand winner to claim a 3-1 lead.

Wawrinka consolidated the break by fighting off triple break point from 0-40 in the fifth game, and holding with an ace and an inside-out forehand winner.

Djokovic made good on his next chance to break, bringing the set back on serve when Wawrinka sailed a forehand long to make it 4-3.

The set appeared headed for another tiebreaker, but Wawrinka ended it in the 10th game, as errors plagued the Serb and a forehand wide ended it in the third seed's favour.

IMAGE: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point during the men’s singles final against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the US Open on Sunday. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Djokovic won the last five points of the first-set decider, clinching the last three points on a pair of Wawrinka groundstroke errors and a serve return that sailed long.

The Serbian world number one dominated the set early, seizing an immediate advantage by breaking Wawrinka on his first service game for 2-0, winning from deuce as Wawrinka miss-hit a forehand and netted a backhand.

Wawrinka battled back, finding the range on his groundstrokes.

Trailing 2-5, the Swiss fought off two set points in the eighth game, finally holding serve with an outright winner from each side.

Wawrinka brought the set back on serve in the next game, jumping to a 0-40 lead and clinching the break on a Djokovic double fault that made it 5-4 and the set proceeded on serve to the tiebreak.

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