Stanislas Wawrinka's run to his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, which included victories over defending champion Novak Djokovic and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, has inspired other players to believe they can win a major, according to Juan Martin del Potro.
“He has given hope to the tennis world,” said del Potro, who won the 2009 U.S. Open. “It’s nice to see other names winning the Grand Slams for the tennis world and the tennis people, and not the same guys as always. Djokovic, Federer and Nadal deserve to win, but if you have different players winning the Grand Slams, it’s more important for tennis. After Wawrinka won the Australian Open, the rest of the players now believe more than in the past, and we just have to wait for our moment, like I did in 2009 when I played in the U.S. Open.”
At 28, Wawrinka is the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion since Goran Ivanisevic, who was 29 when he won Wimbledon in 2001.
“It’s a good sign that Stan did it,” world No. 6 Tomas Berdych told reporters in Dubai. “He just proved that it’s possible. Yes, it’s very tough, very difficult, but in the end, it’s possible. It shows other people they can do it as well. So let’s see and let’s wait till the next Slam.”