Stanislas Wawrinka: I Didn’t Want To Let Novak Win That One!
by Tom Gainey | January 21st, 2014, 9:42 am

Stanislas Wawrinka authored one of the great wins of his career toppling 3-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in a 5-set thriller 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 Tuesday at the Australian Open. The 28-year-old Wawrinka had lost his last 14 matches to Djokovic including two 5-setters last year at the Australian Open (12-10 in fifth) and at the US Open semifinals.

But after getting down a set Wawrinka turned his game up and eventually took the 4-hour match.

The win puts Wawrinka into his second straight Grand Slam semifinal where he’ll face Tomas Berdych on Thursday night.

After the big win, Wawrinka met the press.

Q. Nobody beats Wawrinka 15 times in a row.
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: 14 is already enough (smiling).

Q. What is the feeling you have right now? How different from last year?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: It’s completely different, for sure. I’m really happy. I’m excited. Yeah, it was more or less the same feeling during the match than last year.

The beginning was not that easy, but then I start to play really well. It was important to stay with me. Yeah, after losing two times against him in Grand Slam in five sets, I’m really happy to take that one. It’s great for me.

Q. Could you explain the emotions of the fifth set. Serving first was an advantage.
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I think it’s an advantage to serve first. But I get broken I think at 1 1, something like that. When I break back, I had the feeling that I had to go to take my chance. I had to stay really aggressive. I had to push him a lot, because to be ahead in the score, it’s always an advantage, especially here when it’s quite fast and windy condition.

Yeah, it was a really tough battle. I start to cramp a little bit middle of fifth set, so I had to deal with that. I had to relax a little bit more. I was returning well. I had to do more with my serve, mixing more, and stay really aggressive.

Didn’t want to let him win that one. Get a little bit lucky in the last one. He missed easy shots. But in general in the fifth set I think I went for it.

Q. Is this the most significant win of your career?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, one of for sure. Yeah, he’s so tough to beat. He’s amazing champion. He’s always fight. He’s always find solution.

In the fourth set I think I was playing good and he won that set. So was not easy to deal with that in the fifth set, especially against him.

Last time he find always solution against me in the fifth set. He was better player. But, yeah, not tonight.

Again, I think I won that match because I really, really tried to find solutions tonight.

Q. You’re playing in the era with all these great players. Talk about what it’s been like for quite a while to have all these tough losses.
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, I think for sure it’s a really, really strong generation. The top four guys, Roger, Novak, Rafa, Andy. They have been winning every Grand Slam since many, many years.

They are just better player than us, than all the rest. They are just amazing fighter, amazing player. That’s why they always won everything.

You have to deal with that. You have to fight. I know that the only thing I can control is what I’m doing off the court: my practice, how I do my schedule. I always try to improve.

I always try to find solution to change my game a little bit, to improve, to find solution when I play against the top player.

It’s never easy. I have so many loss against them, it’s always a tough challenge to play them. But, you know, I think last year I took a lot of confidence with those match with Novak. Was really close. I was playing good. We always have some great battle.

I came on the court tonight with a lot of confidence on myself, knowing that if I play my best game, I always have a chance against him.

Q. In the fourth set you were up two sets to one and a break.
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I had a break in the fourth (smiling)? No.

Q. Oh, okay. How difficult was it to come back in the fifth set knowing your history of the past two Grand Slams?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: It’s always tough, especially against Novak. You know that he’s going to play even better.

I cannot just let the match goes, you know. I don’t want to lose every time in five set against Novak. I had to find solution. I had to fight within myself to fight against him and try to keep my line during the game. That’s mean being really aggressive, serve better. That’s what I did. That’s why I won the match tonight.

Q. How much does reaching consecutive Grand Slam semifinals mean to you?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: It’s amazing. I’m enjoying for sure because I’m playing great tennis. Yeah, it’s a different level if I compare to last year here. I had a lot of great match, a lot of good result.

Now I’m No. 8 in the world. I’m making my second semifinal. Beating Novak here for me, for sure it’s great. Still amazing.

Q. Do you think you can win this tournament?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I’m still far from winning the tournament. Two matches, the more difficult matches.

But I’m not thinking at all about that, to be honest. I’m thinking match after match. Tonight I’m going to enjoy with the victory of today because I think it’s important. That’s why I play well last year, because I’m enjoying my life, I’m enjoying the tennis.

When I win, it’s important, yeah, to be just happy, because I know it’s not going to be every Grand Slam that I’m going to be in the semifinals.

I just want to enjoy. Tomorrow I will get ready for the semifinal against Tomas Berdych.

Q. Considering that you are already in the semifinal versus Berdych that you beat the last three times, and then Federer has to beat before Murray and eventually Nadal. Do you think that is the first time that you, as a Swiss, you are more favorite than Federer in a slam?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. We all know that if Roger is playing his best tennis, he can beat everybody here. Me, it’s not the case. I have to play my best tennis. I have to hope that Novak is not in his best form or Rafa is not in his best form or Roger is not in his best form. It’s completely different.

Really, I don’t care. Roger, I saw him against Tsonga. I think he was playing really good. But now I’m going to look his match tomorrow. I hope he’s going to stay with that level and come back strong this year.

Q. He said that you’ve mentally matured as a player. Has it been a process in the last 18 months?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, it start since many years, but especially last year I had a big jump with that. I trust myself when I go on court. I know that I can beat those player. I try everything to beat them. Even when I loss, I go back to practice to try to improve.

That’s my line in general in my tennis career, so I will keep going and doing the same things.

Q. Is it hard to bounce back after an emotional win like this?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, I don’t think so. I think the most important is I will be ready physically because I’m quite tired right now. It was a tough battle.

But mentally I’m going to be ready, for sure. I’m happy to be here. I’m enjoying. I’m playing good tennis. There is no sign that I’m not going to play well the semifinal.

Q. How has Magnus helped your game and do you enjoy working with him?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, we start up last year. We did some amazing result already together. Second semifinal with him. He’s there. He’s pushing me every day in practice court before and after match. He’s a great guy and really good coach.

So far we are enjoying working together.

Q. Novak had the longest streak of making slam semifinals with 14 before tonight. You protected Roger’s record.

Q. But also now you have the longest active streak of making semis, only two, but longer than anybody else right now. Do you expect a ‘thank you’ from Roger for protecting his record?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, no, I think Roger is really happy that I won tonight. I’m sure he watch the match. Maybe not all the match because was a long one, but he is my first supporter. He always text me after the match and is always happy for me.

Q. Did you get the sense from the crowd that there was good crowd support for you and that could manifest in a semifinal against Berdych?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, maybe. I hope. I’m enjoying to play here on Rod Laver. Tonight was a great crowd. I think since last year I start to have more supporter in every tournament. That’s something really important. I’m enjoying to play in front of those people.

Q. Have you switched on your phone or watched your Twitter account?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: A little bit during the ice bath.

Q. Exploded?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, a little bit too much. That’s okay. That’s good. That’s positive. For sure when you win, you have so many message.

Q. They say this surface is a little faster this year. Do you think this was a little advantage for you or not?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, I don’t think the surface was an advantage for me, because last year it was more similar, little bit faster. Last time I played Novak was London indoor. Normally he is better player. I don’t think the surface was a big deal.

Q. What did you think when it started to rain?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Was tough. I was hoping that was not a big rain, you know. After two minutes, was fine. So was okay. I just tried to stay focus on my service game.

Q. Do you look at this as a big opportunity now? The fact you’re playing Berdych, someone you have beaten, how big a chance do you see now?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, it’s for sure a big chance. You know, Berdych is playing well since the beginning of the tournament. He’s going to be a tough player to beat. He already made one final in one slam. He already made semifinal in every Grand Slam.

So he’s there. He’s really close from the top, top guy. It’s going to be a tough battle, you know. Last time I made semis at US Open I played against Novak. Was a five set match.

No, no, doesn’t change for me to play Berdych or Roger or Rafa. I just take match after match and try to win and try my best.

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24 Comments for Stanislas Wawrinka: I Didn’t Want To Let Novak Win That One!

Michael Says:

Great display by Wawarinka. He is a deserving winner. Now he must go all out and win the Championship. But for that to happen, he must not meet some body named Nadal or Roger in the finals. He would he happy if it is Andy. In the same way, Berdych too would fancy his chances against Andy and probably even Roger. However,if it is Rafa, he would be giving up the fight even before the battle has begun just because he hasn’t got the confidence to play against him. So for both Wawrinka and Berdych to win their first slam, they need somebody to eliminate Rafa before the finals.

Polo Says:

…and for Federer, he needs somebody to eliminate Rafa before the finals. Oh, Nadal is in his way before the finals. Sorry Fed. No AO trophy for you.

WTF Says:

Since both he and Berdych have never made the AO SF before, there will be another debutante finalist. They will probably be overwhelmed. I think Stan has never made a GS final before?

He is good enough to win one, but the stars just never align for him.

Teeg Says:


Yes, Berdych has made a Major final before (Wimbledon 2010).

Humble Rafa Says:

Good job from the “Best Backhand in Switzerland”. I just he would teach the other Swiss player how to hit a clean backhand.

Kimberly Says:

my 8 year old son is in first place in our bracket challenge, oh the shame!

skeezer Says:

Go Colin go!!

Ven Says:

Well done WAWA, better luck next time Nole

Commentators Blog writers and Nole fans has to come out from 2011 year

2011 Nole success has many contributors

1. Nole is in good form
2. Del boy absence, Murry slump, FedEx decline, WAWA no where near,
3. Due to above not fully fit Rafa and Nole able to reach every final (Nole thrashed Rafa who is not fully fit)
4. After 7 final losses Nole did not defeated Rafa in any major I believe (if I am not wrong)

Polo Says:

^^ Here is another one belittling another’s achievements with a bunch of cockamamie excuses.

SG1 Says:

Rally happy for Stan! He’s a huge hitter, no real weaknesses, he’s fit. Best backhand in the business. Hope he gets his first slam here.

hawkeye Says:

No. Nole was a wall in 2011. Not the same player since.

For me, that was simply the best single year in tennis.

The drive to get there was greater than the drive to stay there I guess.

SG1 Says:

Oh yeah. he’s seems like a good sport too.

ven Says:

I was not downd grading nole here, i was trying to say 2011 year will not happen reaptedly fans like you has to realise that

Brando Says:


‘Best backhand in the business.’:

That is some statement you make there SG1!

Single handed BH = no doubt about it.

I think it’s either Stan or Novak.

Novak’s is brilliant: he can defend very well with it as well as attack DTL, cross court with it. It’s extremely consistent.

Wawa’s is powerful, surprisingly so for a single handed BH and of course- a thing of beauty.

I think Novak is better since it’s more consistent BUT: I think Stan uses his BH more aggressively than Novak or other contenders for this such as Muzza.

Ranjit Says:

I had Nole in 4 sets!! What a game!! Stan and Norman seem to have a pretty good team up.

Polo Says:

The commentators last night were saying Stan’s is currently the best single-handed backhand but Nadal’s two-handed BH is the best backhand overall.

WTF Says:

Teeg Says:


“Yes, Berdych has made a Major final before (Wimbledon 2010).”

I’m aware of that. Which is why I asked if Stan has made one before. Neither player has been in an AO final though, or AO semi. So they will both be debutantes so to speak.

Djokerfan Says:

Polo, just don’t agree. I think Novak’s backhand is leagues above Rafa’s.

Polo Says:

The comment about the best backhand was not from me. I was quoting the commentators unless I misheard them. They said that during the 5th set when Djokovic was playing catch-up to Stan. I, too, think Novak’s backhand is the best overall.

Humble Rafa Says:

It will be interesting when a Swiss goes home with a trophy. Don’t get too excited.

As you know, I like Swiss meat.

Slice Tennis Says:

“The commentators last night were saying Stan’s is currently the best single-handed backhand but Nadal’s two-handed BH is the best backhand overall.”

I have also heard many guys in my club talking about Rafa’s BH very highly during the last 10 months or so. IMO Rafa has the most versatile BH currently. He can play some effective one handed slices and block returns and when required he can smack the double handed BH CC or DTL.

Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa has the most versatile BH currently

No prize for stating the obvious. Humble has the best game in every department. Bar none!

SG1 Says:


I’ve always had a preference for the one hander and of course my statement regarding Wawa’s backhand is my opinion. Both Nole and Wawa have ridiculously great backhands. No offense meant.

Patson Says:

Well played Stan, well played. As for Nole, onto the French Open now !

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