Third seed Stan Wawrinka beat 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 his wins in Australia and France.
“This is amazing. I came here without expecting. But every time I step on the court I try to win every match,” said Wawrinka after the match.
“I think I played a lot of tennis in these two weeks! I’m probably empty.”
Djokovic, who became the third man to hold all four grand slam singles titles at once after his triumph at Roland Garros in June, came into the final with a 19-4 career head-to-head advantage over the Swiss third seed.
However, Wawrinka, who has now won 11 finals on the bounce, regrouped having lost the first set in a one-sided tie-breaker to hit 46 winners on his way to a third grand slam title.
The Swiss was more decisive in the key moments, taking six of the 10 break opportunities he fashioned while the usually clinical Djokovic only managed to convert three of the 17 on offer on the Wawrinka serve.
“You were the more courageous player. He just deserves this title. Well done,” said Djokovic to Wawrinka during his on-court post-match interview.
Djokovic, who benefitted from a walkover and two retirements on his way to the final, called for the trainer twice as he began to struggle physically in the fourth, and could not cope with the superlative tennis from the Swiss third seed.
The second medial time out, with Wawrinka 3-1 to the good, mustered a slight improvement from Djokovic, who managed to hold serve to stay in touch with the buoyant Swiss star.
However, the damage had already been done as Wawrinka had fashioned himself an unassailable advantage and a long backhand handed the title to the Swiss after a near four-hour, groundstroke epic.
Wawrinka, 31, is a Wimbledon title shy of completing the career grand slam.
“He loves to play in the big matches,” Djokovic added.
“He comes up with his best game. He’s so solid from both corners. He’s got a good slice and amazing one-handed backhand, all corners. Big serve. Moves well. He’s a very complete player.”