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Stan Warwrinka: Now I'm aiming to reach the next level

By Tom Allnut

Published 09/06/2015

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka poses with the cup in the cloakroom of the stadium after winning the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia's Novak Djokovic, at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Paris. (Christophe Saidi, FFT, Pool via AP)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka poses with the cup in the cloakroom of the stadium after winning the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia's Novak Djokovic, at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Paris. (Christophe Saidi, FFT, Pool via AP)

French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka insists he still has ground to make up to be considered on a similar level to the big four despite his shock final victory over Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic was strong favourite to clinch his first title at Roland Garros and complete a career Grand Slam but Wawrinka outplayed the world No 1 to win 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.

It means a second Grand Slam success for the Swiss, who last year won the Australian Open to join Juan Martin del Potro as the only men since 2005 to lift a Major trophy other than Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray - although Marin Cilic lifted last year's US Open, taking the number to three.

Murray is the only one of the big four Wawrinka is yet to beat this year after the 30-year-old knocked out Federer in the French Open quarter-finals and defeated Nadal last month in Rome.

His latest triumph over Djokovic was particularly impressive given the way he overpowered the Serb with a number of brilliant base-line winners, but Wawrinka believes he needs to be more consistent.

"I'm trying (to be more consistent) at every tournament but so far it's just me. I'm not as strong as the big four. They are winning everything," Wawrinka said.

"But I'm certainly strong enough to win some big titles during the years.

"So I haven't found how to play my best game every tournament but I'm still okay and satisfied with my career so far.

"I'm not as good as the big four, but I'm good enough to win two Grand Slam tournaments.

"I can beat them in Major tournaments - in a semi-final, in a final - but once again, the big four will always be the big four. I don't want to be in comparison with them. I want to make progress and strides. I want to beat them. That's all."

Wawrinka insists Djokovic will win the French Open one day and complete his career Grand Slam.

"I have a lot of respect for him and his team, he's a great friend," Wawrinka said.

"I know he's looking for that title. I hope he will get it one day because he deserves one."

The Swiss added: "He's the world No 1 and has won so many titles. I'm really happy to have won it, but for sure I know he's feeling bad and is desperate for this title.

"I'm sure he's going to get one one day because he's so strong."

Wawrinka's victory follows a painful period off the court for the new world No 4, who announced in April he had separated from his wife.

The Swiss was also angered during the first week of the tournament when his personal problems were inappropriately examined in an official article on the French Open website.

"It's important when you're an athlete that you can put your mind on what are doing," Wawrinka said. "You have to make some sacrifices. You have to work it out, you have to be relaxed.

"When you are practising and when you give everything, you have to try to focus on what you're doing.

"I'm still surprised that in two months I can win the French Open because I wasn't in good shape after Monaco (in April). It was a tough, tough moment for me. To say that I won the French Open, it's something completely crazy."

Wawrinka will now turn his attention to improving his modest record at Wimbledon, where he achieved his best result last year by reaching the quarter-finals.

If he enjoys success at SW19, however, it is unlikely to be in the same garish pair of shorts, which attracted a lot of attention in Paris and which Wawrinka proudly draped over the table at his final press conference.

"I don't think they will allow me to wear the shorts at Wimbledon," Wawrinka joked.

"Everybody has talked about the shorts since I put them on. I quite like them but apparently I'm the only one.

"I know a lot of people have talked about them and it's quite funny that they won the French Open."

Belfast Telegraph

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