Stan Wawrinka was in awe of his own performance in his four-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the French Open final and admits that his achievements throughout his career so far have well exceeded his expectations.
Wawrinka became the 30th man to win multiple grand slams in the Open Era when he added the French Open on Sunday to his 2014 Australian Open title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Djokovic.
The Swiss also became the first player since Albert Costa in 2002 to lose in the first round at Roland Garros then return the following year to win it.
Last year after his shock opening round exit, he was at a McDonald’s with his coach Magnus Norman commiserating over a burger. This year, he leaves Paris on the third Sunday of the tournament, rather than the first one, as a two-time major champion.
“It's quite strange when I tell myself that I have a gold medal in Davis Cup and I have two grand slams. Something quite amazing. Never expected to be that far in my career. Never expected to be that strong,” said an elated Wawrinka.
“It is amazing, for sure. I still have a problem to really realise that I won the French Open.
“I'm still surprised the way I played, because I think I played amazing today. I was really nervous, but I didn't really choke. I was always going for my shots, always going for the right play. I'm really happy with the trophy tonight.”
“For me this one is really special for sure playing Novak here in final, the No1 player,” said the 30-year-old. “He won almost everything since beginning of the year. And especially the way I played and the way I finished the match, the way I was focused all the match, the way I changed the momentum.
“I'm proud of winning today against Novak. He's such a tough player to play, especially in a final. I have a lot of respect to him and his team. He's a great friend. I know he's looking for that title. I hope he will get one one day because he deserves one.”
Djokovic was clearly upset to suffer a third defeat in a Roland Garros final.
“It's a loss. Of course it hurts, especially because it was in the finals. I think I have played a great clay court season, a great Roland Garros. But he just found the solutions on the court. This is sport. That's what happens on this level. You have to accept the loss,” said the world No1.
The Serb was playing for a third consecutive day after his semi-final against Andy Murray had to be played over two days due to a storm. He needed five sets to overcome the Scot, which came three days after defeating Rafael Nadal in the quarters. But Djokovic refused to use fatigue as an excuse for his loss.
“I don't want to come up with excuses, saying these two matches took a lot out of me and I lost today. I don't think that's fair to Stan. I don't think that's fair to sit here and whine about now what has happened,” said Djokovic.