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Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their men's final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Wawrinka denies Djokovic career Grand Slam, wins French Open

PARIS — Stan Wawrinka crushed the title dream of Novak Djokovic in commanding fashion on Sunday with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 French Open final victory that gave Wawrinka his second grand slam trophy.

Wawrinka, Australian Open champion 17 months ago, hammered out the victory in a little over three hours. The loss denied Djokovic, the top seed, a career Grand Slam sweep, which he would have achieved by winning Paris for the first time.

Wawrinka had lost 17 of his previous 20 matches with Djokovic, who broke down in tears when he was greeted by several minutes of ovation when he accepted the runner-up trophy.

Wawrinka finished the match with his ninth ace, firing 60 winners and losing serve only twice. He broke Djokovic four times out of 15 chances to end his opponent’s 2015 win streak at 28 matches.

It was the third loss for Djokovic this season against 41 victories.

“I played the match of my life today,” said Wawrinka, who will move from ninth to fourth in the ATP rankings today. “Novak is my biggest challenge. He’s a great champion.

“Thanks to my team for all the tough work we’ve put in. This was just exceptional.”

Wawrinka, who lost in the 2014 first round, claimed his trophy a dozen years after winning Roland Garros juniors. He stands 29-8 this season.

“I have the most respect for Novak and his team. He played at a high level today,” Wawrinka said. “To win a second grand slam is something incredible for me.

“My coach Magnus Norman lost the 2000 final here to Gustavo Kuerten (who presented the trophy). So this one is for you.

“It was an incredible match in a great ambience.”

The last four grand slam meetings between the pair of rivals had been epics, all going the full five.

The 30-year-old Wawrinka broke that mold in Paris, where he finished off his four-set triumph with an ace after an apparent ace on his first match point was ruled out.

Djokovic kept himself in check as he accepted his finalist’s trophy.

“Stan’s a great champion who merits this trophy. I’ll continue to try and win here, starting next year,” he said.

“You go through emotions, of course I was more nervous than any other match. It’s finals of Roland Garros. I’m proud of the fight that I put into this match.”

“I tried my best — it wasn’t to be.

“Today I went out on the court knowing I’m close, but across the net I had also player that wanted to win and he had a match to lose. He was playing very well. He deserved to win, that’s all can I say.”

Wawrinka lost the opening set but called in his big game to level by winning the second as he finally broke on a sixth break point. The Swiss tightened his grip in the third set with a break for 4-2 before taking the match lead.

In the fourth set, Djokovic went up a break but lost it in the ninth game as Wawrinka barreled a winner down the line for 5-4 before serving out the victory a game later.

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