Wawrinka defeats Djokovic at US Open after Serb retires in third set

Wawrinka defeats Djokovic at US Open after Serb retires in third set

The Swiss led, 6-4, 7-5, 2-1, when the defending champion stopped due to a left shoulder injury. The two were facing off for the first time since the 2016 US Open final.

Stan Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic on Sunday in a rematch of the 2016 US Open final. Wawrinka led Djokovic, 6-4, 7-5, 2-1, in their round of 16 clash when the defending champion was forced to stop due to a left shoulder injury.

Wawrinka, a three-time major champion, will take on fifth-ranked Daniil Medvedev in the last eight. Medvedev won the pair's lone prior meeting in the first round of Wimbledon two years ago in Wawrinka's final tournament before he underwent two surgeries on his left knee.

Djokovic meets with press

On his prognosis:

"Evaluation is to come. Obviously I did a lot of different treatments and diagnostics and everything in the last couple weeks. I obviously have to do it again and see how the shoulder reacts. Not playing is going to help speed up recovery. I'm planning to play Tokyo, and hopefully I'll be able to do so."

On the scope of the injury:

"The pain was constant for weeks now. Some days higher; some days with less intensity and obviously taking different stuff to kill the pain instantly. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. You just know, I guess, when you feel like you're not able to hit the shot anymore."

On missing a chance to move closer to Federer's 20 majors:

"Look, it's no secret that I have of course the desire and a goal to reach the most Slams, and reach Roger's record. But at the same time, it's a long road ahead hopefully for me. I hope I can play for many more years. I'm planning to. I mean, I don't see an end behind the corner at all. Now it's a matter of keeping my body and mind in shape and trying to still peak at these kind of events that are majors and that are the most significant in our sport."

Wawrinka's reaction

On the way the match ended:

"It’s never the way you want to finish a match. I’m really sorry for Novak. He’s a good friend, an amazing champion. We’ve played amazing battles all of my career. I want to keep my level [from] tonight. I was playing super good tennis. I’m happy to be back."

On showing signs of his 2016 champion form:

"It’s been really tough since my surgery. It’s took me two years now to be back at that level. The atmosphere is always something special to play a night session."

Anita Aguilar/Tennis.com

Third set: Wawrinka clinches win after Djokovic retires down 2-1

After double-faulting to get broken at love in the third game, Djokovic retired from the match. The Serbian had his left shoulder worked on during the set break. The injury previously flared up in his second-round match against Juan Ignacio Londero.

Second set: Wawrinka wins 7-5

True to his world No. 1 title, Djokovic regrouped to build a 3-0 lead. Wawrinka dropped serve when his backhand sailed long and the Serbian quickly consolidated with a love hold. The No. 23 seed went down in a notch in execution off the baseline in the early goings, but when Djokovic double-faulted to fall behind 4-2, 0-30, Wawrinka pounced like a lion with his down-the-line shot-making to get back on serve.

At 5-5, 15-30, Djokovic came forward in consecutive points: first on a serve and volley off the second serve and then a mid-court forehand. Wawrinka ate it up both times with fully-extended backhands to break, before moving ahead two sets to love. Djokovic finished with 17 unforced errors in the set and now faces a harsh reality: Wawrinka is 23-1 at Flushing Meadows with a two-set lead (2009 to Nicolas Lapentti)

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First set: Wawrinka wins 6-4

Wawrinka staved off three break points in the fourth game, a hold that would prove to be crucial to changing the momentum. The Swiss immediately broke after Djokovic’s backhand up the line clipped the net. Serving for the set at 5-4, Wawrinka tracked down a well-played lob with his own brilliant, deep reply. Djokovic second guessed going up for an overhead and his forehand moon ball was instead met with an aggressive forehand strike from his opponent. Wawrinka dialed up his first serve when he needed to, as Djokovic only managed to get 35 percent of those returns in play.

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