Wawrinka stuns Djokovic in French Open final

SportBy Kevin Palmer
Wawrinka is the French Open champion
Wawrinka is the French Open champion

He has looked invincible for most of 2015, but Novak Djokovic was finally toppled by Stanislas Wawrinka on the day when he wanted to be a winner more than any other.

As the Serbian chased down the one Grand Slam title that has eluded him in his decorated career, it seemed that this Sunday would be the day when he joined a unique band of players who have won all four majors.

Having seen off Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in the previous two rounds, Wawrinka was the big outsider to claim victory under the Paris sun and yet the Swiss maestro proved once again that he is a match for the best when he is on top form.

After losing the first set to the world No.1 6-4, a comeback seemed impossible for the player whose only previous Grand Slam final success arrived, in part, because of an injury to Nadal at the Australian Open.

Yet this was the day when Wawrinka confirmed his status as one of the game's giants is justified, in an era when so many of the the all-time greats of tennis are at the peak of their powers.

His magnificent single handed backhand, his crushing forehand and his clinical serving was enough to see off a champion who was being tipped to win all four major titles on offer this year, yet that dream will have to wait for 2016.

As Wawrinka stormed through the final three sets as he won them 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, there was no doubt that he was a worthy winner.

The embrace afforded to him by Djokovic as the pair met at the net confirmed that the better man had won. It was quite a moment for a player who has for long long been in the shadow of his compatriot Roger Federer.

On this occasion, Wawrinka overpowered Djokovic and while the rest of the tennis world may take encouragement from the defeat of the mighty Serb, the truth was this was a performance from a champion who must now be viewed as a real contender to win the final two majors of the season at Wimbledon and the US Open.

It was always likely to be a momentous day at Ronald Garros and so it proved, yet the plot line was an unpredictable as it was thilling as Wawrinka made this the defining afternoon of his career.