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Wawrinka 'in tears' with nerves

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 12-09-2016 skysports.com

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Stan Wawrinka says it took his best poker face to overcome Novak Djokovic in the US Open final after an attack of cramp, nerves - and even tears. 

The Swiss beat world No 1 Djokovic 6-7 (1/7) 6-4 7-5 6-3 in New York to win his third grand slam title and leave Wimbledon as the only major eluding him.

And in the wake of his success, the No 3 seed revealed he had suffered his worst-ever nerves moments before he was due on court.

"Before the final I was really nervous like never before," said Wawrinka, who at 31 is the oldest US Open winner since Ken Rosewall in 1970. "I was shaking in the locker-room.

"When we start talking five minutes before the match, last few things with [his coach] Magnus Norman, I started to cry. I was completely shaking.

"But the only thing I was convinced with myself was that my game was there. Physically I was there. My game was there. Just put the fight on the court and you will have a chance to win.

"And that's what happened, after a few games when I start to believe in myself, I start to be in the match."

The trouble did not end there for Wawrinka, though, as he ran himself to a near-standstill and was also upset by a timeout Djokovic took while trailing 3-1 in the fourth set.

"Honestly after the match I was completely empty. I put everything on the court," he said. "I was trying to stay with him. I was trying to be tough with myself, trying not to show anything, not to show any pain, not to show any cramp. Not to show anything.

"I was feeling the cramp coming in the third set. In the fourth set I had some pain, but most important was what was clear with Magnus before - not to show anything."

Referring to Djokovic's fourth-set treatment for bleeding toes he said: "I just wanted to know exactly what the rule is. That's it."

It was not just Wawrinka revealing all afterwards: Djokovic claimed a wrist injury had threatened his participation at Flushing Meadows until almost a week before the tournament.

"I really didn't know whether or not I'm going to come, to be honest," he said. "I decided like eight, nine days before the start of the Open just to try so to play finals, it's quite amazing.

"I just didn't capitalise at all on my opportunities. I had plenty of them, break points. It was a terrible conversion of the break points. Just terrible from my side.

"In the matches like this, if you don't use the opportunities, the other guy comes and takes it and that's what he did."

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