Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka reveals Novak Djokovic is the Big Three group member he likes to play the most. Wawrinka, a former world No. 3, clashed world No. 1 Djokovic in three consecutive years at the Australian Open.
Wawrinka beat Djokovic in the 2015 French Open final and the 2016 US Open final, respectively. "Novak Djokovic was always one of the Big-3 but I liked playing him the most. His play suits me the most, even though he has beaten me more times than I can count," Wawrinka said in his interview with Eurosport, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
"I know he fears me, mostly in Grand Slams and I feel that stepping on to the court. He plays at his highest level against me because he knows what I'm capable of."
Wawrinka beat Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2014
Wawrinka edged out Djokovic 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7 to reach the 2014 Australian Open final.
It was the year in which Wawrinka captured his maiden Grand Slam title. "[Against Novak Djokovic at the 2014 Australian Open] I started doubting myself, and lost the first set 2-6. I managed to get into the match anyway and made it into the fifth set," Wawrinka recalled.
"I told myself, 'this time I will make it and I won't let him get away. It is my time' That is what happened and it took me to another level in my career." A year earlier, Djokovic edged out Wawrinka in a thriller at Melbourne Park 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 (5) 12-10.
"[The 2013 match against Novak Djokovic] was one of my biggest matches. It was a turning point in my career. I was destroyed after the match but it helped me a great deal mentally for the rest of my career," Wawrinka said. "Something happened that day, something changed in my level of play."