Wawrinka To Meet Djokovic Next At US Open
Stan Wawrinka ended the feel-good story of Italy's Paolo Lorenzi on Friday evening to make the second week of the US Open for the first time since 2016, when he won his third Grand Slam title in New York.
The 23rd seed beat the 37-year-old lucky loser 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(4) to set up a Round of 16 matchup against defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic. The Serbian dismissed American Denis Kudla in straight sets later Friday evening.
“It was a good battle on the court... I've done some better things on the court, but I was really happy fighting well, moving well. I'm really happy to get through that one,” Wawrinka said.
Wawrinka is 5-19 against Djokovic, but the past two times he's beaten him on hard court have been at Grand Slams – during the 2016 US Open final and the 2014 Australian Open quarter-finals en route to the title. Wawrinka also beat Djokovic during the 2015 Roland Garros final.
“I played him twice in the final of a Grand Slam. I was full of confidence. I was playing well, moving well, at the top of my game. For sure I could only play the best tennis when it's the final,” Wawrinka said.
“There's something with him that when I get into my best game, I know that it's going to have some big rally, I'm going to play good tennis.”
Watch Highlights Of Wawrinka Vs. Lorenzi
The 34-year-old Swiss wasn't at his peak level against Lorenzi, who was trying to become the first lucky loser to reach the fourth round in Flushing Meadows since 1982. Wawrinka hit 50 unforced errors to 63 winners and won only 33 per cent (3/9) of his break points. Serving for match at 5-4 in the third, he was broken when he tried to take a Lorenzi shank on the rise and nearly outright whiffed the ball.
But Wawrinka was closer to his best during the big points, saving 11 of 13 break points and serving out the third-round contest with a service winner to improve to 4-0 against the Italian.
Did You Know?
Wawrinka has reached 27 Grand Slam fourth rounds. Djokovic has made 48 and Roger Federer, 66.