5 things about US Open champion Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic in the 2016 US Open Men's Singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Sept 11.
Stan Wawrinka celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic in the 2016 US Open Men's Singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Sept 11.PHOTO: AFP

Stan Wawrinka, 31, became the oldest US Open men's champion in 46 years when he defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to claim a third Grand Slam title in New York on Sunday (Monday Sept 12, Singapore time). He trumped 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 after almost four hours of high intensity tennis. We take a closer look at "Stan the Man".

1. He won the gold medal at Beijing Olympics

Born in Switzerland to a German father and Swiss mother, Wawrinka holds dual Swiss-German citizenship. Wawrinka stopped schooling at 15 to focus full-time on tennis and turned professional in 2002 at the age of 17. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he clinched the doubles gold. Currently ranked No. 3, this is the highest singles ranking he has ever obtained in his career.

2. Stan the Man and other nicknames

After his triumph at the Australian Open in 2014, he was soon called "Stan the Man". He has also been named "Stan the Teenage Farmhand, having grown up working on his parents' farm in Lausanne, Switzerland. "Stan the Man" remains very much his favourite.

3. He has played in 3 Grand Slam finals, and won all

Wawrinka has reached three Grand Slam singles finals in his career, and won all three. In each final - the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open - he defeated the reigning world top seed in the finals. He defeated Rafael Nadal in 2014 and Novak Djkovic in 2015 and 2016.

 

In 2014, Wawrinka denied Nadal from being the only active men's tennis player to hold at least two titles at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments; it was also his first victory over Nadal in 13 attempts.

4. He is the oldest US Open champ since 1970

At 31, Wawrinka became the oldest winner of the men's tournament since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970 and the first over 30 to take the title since Pete Sampras in 2002. His opponent Djokovic is 29.

5. His playing styles

Wawrinka is known as a powerful offensive baseliner capable of playing well on most surfaces, especially that of clay and hard courts. His fast serve can reach speeds as high as 232kmh.

 

His forehand, once considered to be a weakness early in his career, has improved significantly and is now a deadly weapon in his game.