Stan Wawrinka Believes He Can Stop Novak Djokovic
Stan Warinka/Photo AP

Stan Wawrinka Believes He Can Stop Novak Djokovic

Reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka expresses confidence in his capability to stop the dominant world number one.

Paul Choi

The last man to beat current world number one Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam was Stan Wawrinka in the final at Roland Garros last year. Many believe it was the match of his life.

Wawrinka Confident Against Djokovic in Grand Slams

The Swiss played nearly flawless tennis at last year's French Open final. He hit 60 winners against Djokovic to take his second major in four sets.

“In Grand Slams it’s more about the way I’m playing, the way my game is and the way I find solutions against him. Thanks to my game I believe to beat him,’’  said Wawrinka.

The Swiss has found success against Djokovic in majors, also defeating him in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Australian Open. Wawrinka would go on to capture his first Grand Slam title. In the other three Grand Slam matches they have played since 2013, Wawrinka has been able to push the Serb to five sets. The Swiss’ powerful ground strokes have been able to penetrate the defensive game of Djokovic. In best of five set matches, the Swiss has more confidence to go for winners.

Confident, But Realistic

Although confident in his capability to defeat the Serb, Wawrinka admits that it will be difficult, “It’s going to be tough to beat him this year, for sure, but the guys know, and I am sure, there will be some opportunities.”

Many analysts like to compare the careers of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Djokovic, especially their periods of dominance. However, Wawrinka refuses to do so.

“He is number one and he is winning every tournament. He had an amazing last year for sure, but I think if you look at Roger, he had some years that he was losing three matches. Rafa [Nadal] was the same as Novak last year. So I just don’t like to compare them. It is tough to know which one was best the best at that time or not. It’s quite impressive what he is doing for sure.”

The Swiss was highly impressed by Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open semifinals against Federer, “one of the best matches I saw him play. When he is playing like that, when he gets the lead and is playing so relaxed and so fast, it’s tough to stay with him. But if you look at the match, Roger was trying to change a few things. He got the opportunity to take one set and then he fought to make it a close match. So it was an interesting match.”

Wawrinka could get another crack at Djokovic this week in Dubai. Djokovic is the top seed at this week's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, while Wawrinka is seeded second.