Former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka reveals beating Roger Federer for the first time at a Grand Slam gave him a huge boost of confidence ahead of his 2015 French Open final. Wawrinka, 35, claimed his first Grand Slam win over former world No.
1 Federer at Roland Garros in 2015, when he best the record 20-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets when they met in the quarterfinal. Two days later, the Swiss returned to the court and beat home favorite Jo Wilfried Tsonga in four sets to progress into his maiden French Open final.
In the final was awaiting Novak Djokovic, who several days earlier claimed his first-ever French Open win over record 12-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal. Djokovic, who was aiming to win his maiden French Open title and complete a calendar Grand Slam, entered the final as the favorite but Wawrinka had other plans.
Wawrinka, now ranked at No. 17 in the world, delivered one of his best-ever performances to best Djokovic in four sets and win his first and lone French Open title. ''I had never beaten Roger in a Slam before, so that was big for my confidence.
The night before the final I just felt happy that I had got there, I was very relaxed. Before the match I felt nervous but I told myself to remember all the Roland Garros finals I watched as a kid, and that this was my dream," Wawrinka told Sportsmail.
''Strangely it was when Novak was serving the first set out that I just started to feel really good. I began to play to my limits, and it carried on from there.' '
Stan Wawrinka thought Djokovic was the favorite to break the all time Grand Slam record
Djokovic recovered from two sets to one down in this year's Australian Open final to beat world No.
3 Dominic Thiem and claim his 17th Grand Slam title. Federer, 38, still holds the record with 20 Major titles, while Nadal has 19 Grand Slams in his rich collection. "Before this pandemic I thought Novak was in a strong position because of the way he had come back and regained unbelievable form.
I think it is maybe harder to say now because of this long break. There could be some less predictable results," Wawrinka said. Stan Wawrinka has played four Grand Slam finals and won three titles on the biggest level.