Congrats to Stanislas Wawrinka for reaching his first career Grand Slam final today after beating Tomas Berdych 63, 67(1), 76(3), 76(4) in the Australian Open semifinals.
Wawrinka has now won 11 of his last 12 Grand Slam matches and will now await the winner of Friday night’s mega Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer clash.
Stanislas has a bad losing record against both players, but he had also lost 14 straight to Novak Djokovic before getting ending that streak.
If Nadal wins Wawrinka will be assured of passing his hero Federer to become the new Swiss No. 1.
Wawrinka, who won just one more point in the match, has now beaten Berdych four straight times and seven of the last eight. If he wins the title he’ll move as high as No. 3 in the world!
After his win, here’s what Stanislas told the press:
Q. Why are you still smiling?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I don’t know either (smiling).
Q. Explain the emotions, what you feel.
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I feel great. It’s amazing, you know. I didn’t expect to make a final in Grand Slam in my career. Tonight it’s happening, so I’m really happy.
I’m working really hard since many years, try to improve my game, try to get some big match in big stadium. Now I’m the first final in a Grand Slam, so I can be only really happy.
Q. Why do you think it happened here this time?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, this time it’s because I’m at the top of my career. Already last year I had the feeling that I was playing better, but I was dealing better the pressure also. I’m more mature. I’m 28 now. I’m on the tour since 10 years. Now I feel that it’s my time to play my best tennis.
I’m enjoying more what I’m doing, when I’m winning, and also maybe I know more how to deal with all the pressure around.
Q. You said you never expected to make a final. When was the moment you realized when you could?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: After the match won tonight, I was there (laughter).
No, but before that, for sure. After the semifinal in US Open I knew that I was close to be there. But still was for me far away to make a final in Grand Slam. You never know what’s happen. I was disappointed to lost against Novak in US Open, but I knew I was close with the level.
But for me I was so far. Was not my goal at all to make final in Grand Slam.
Q. One point separated you and Tomas. Did you feel it was that close out there?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, was really close, for sure. Was strange game. I don’t think we play our best tennis, but we serve really well. We were really aggressive on service game. Was going really fast tonight so was not easy to make some long rally and to make him work.
But, yeah, when you play a four set match with three tiebreak is rare, but try to stay really aggressive on the tiebreak, try to went for it. My goal was to be more aggressive than him, try to take advantage in the point.
Yeah, I had the feeling he was really nervous and really tired because he gave me a little bit some point in the tiebreak, third set tiebreak and fourth set tiebreak, with some double fault.
I think he start to be really nervous.
Q. Do you have a preference of who you might play on Sunday?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: If they can pull out, would be good (smiling).
You know, my record against Rafa is not really good, and neither against Roger. But for sure to play a Swiss final will be amazing, first for Switzerland, for the country. He is the best player ever. For me it’s my first final. To imagine to play against Roger would be amazing.
Q. Would it be a little bit strange because you spent so much time together?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure. But I always said that I prefer to play him in a final in a tournament than the first or quarterfinal. So it will be still amazing.
Q. Not looking too far forward to Sunday, but if it was Roger, where would Severin sit?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: In Roger’s box, for sure. He’s his coach. He’s his coach, but he’s been helping me since many years, and much more since two years and a half. It’s more like because Roger is really nice and he accept that.
He accept that Severin can stay in my match. He can come sometimes for practice and talk a lot with me. That’s all because Roger is really nice.
Q. Whoever you play, it’s going to be a player who has been there so many times before. It’s your first time. Will that make you feel daunted or give you some freedom in the way you play?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: I don’t know. I will see. I don’t know how I will feel for first final.
Again, I’m enjoying all what’s happening here. I’m playing great tennis. I know that I’m going to feel ready physically because I have two day off to be ready for the final.
The most important is that my game is there. If I make the final here, it’s because I beat Berdych tonight; I won against Novak also. I had some great match. So that’s mean I have the level to be there.
Q. You said you had not such a great record against either. You didn’t have a good record against Novak, so does that give you confidence you can change that?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Take the confidence from my level in general. I know that I’m playing my best tennis. I’m moving well. I’m really aggressive. I’m serving well. I always find solution. So that’s where I take solution, the confidence.
But, you know, I will see. I will watch the match tomorrow and see how I’m going to play on Sunday.
Q. Have you heard from Roger?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, for sure he text me, but I didn’t check my phone yet.
Q. Last time we talked to Roger and he said he’s cheering every time he watches you on TV. He makes a fist pump, a high five with Mirka. How will you react tomorrow on his winning points?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Well, I will be really happy. Again, as I say, if we can make a Swiss final, it will be something just amazing in a Grand Slam. I will be really happy if he can win tomorrow.
I saw some match of him. He’s playing really good tennis again. Tomorrow is going to be, like always when they play each other in semifinal or final, they always puts everything on the court. It’s going to be a great match, for sure.
I always try to watch when they play because you can always learn. You can always see the best tennis ever on the tour. So it’s going to be fun to watch.
Q. Any special celebration in case Roger wins tomorrow?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, no, nothing special.
Q. Do you think now you should try to persuade Roger to play Davis Cup because it’s a crime with Switzerland with two players like you and him don’t win the Davis Cup?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: You know, it’s not because I make my first final in Grand Slam that I will ask him to change. I’m in the top 10 since last year now. We talk a lot about Davis Cup. It’s okay.
It’s not the thing I want to think now because I’m in the Grand Slam. I’m in my first final of a Grand Slam. Even if Davis Cup is next week, I don’t want to think about Davis Cup at all.
Q. Did your win over Djokovic, did you have the experience of beating Novak you’ve become a different player confidence wise?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, more confidence with myself. More confidence to go for the match, to finish the match also. But, you know, last year I play four times against Tomas. He beat me the first in Davis Cup, but then I won three times.
He was always the one who was a little bit choking few moments, a little bit down, and that’s what happened today again.
Q. How did you feel about today’s atmosphere? Did you feel the fans were behind you?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah. I had a lot of fans here. I think for sure atmosphere is great. Play first semifinal here. Full crowd was amazing people.
Q. There was only one break in the whole match. Did you notice that?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yeah, yeah, I know. I know what’s happen during the match (laughter).
Q. Going back to when you said you didn’t expect to be in a slam final. Three, four years ago, was that a problem, that you didn’t see yourself as a finalist or slam winner?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: No, was the same before to come here. I didn’t expect to make the final. I didn’t came here like thinking, Oh, maybe it will be amazing to make final. For me, I was really far from that. For me was something different level.
As I always say, I always try to improve, I always try to win every matches, I always go on court to try to beat my opponent, and that’s what I did during all the tournament here.
Q. Were other people telling you you could be in a Grand Slam final, your team?
STANISLAS WAWRINKA: Yes. You know, it’s tough to put for me as a goal to make final in a Grand Slam, especially with the player there, with Novak, with Rafa, with Roger, with Andy. In the past it was really difficult, so it’s not a goal.
It was more like we knew I had the level to beat the top player, but to be in the final you have to do it again and again.
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