Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka said that beating Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final of the 2014 Australian Open was a mental breakthrough for him. Wawrinka would go on to beat Rafael Nadal in the final to win his first Grand Slam title.
“Yeah, it was a mental breakthrough for me, especially the match against Novak. I played him the previous year where the fifth set went to 12-10. So this time I told myself that if it goes that far, I need to win it,” the World No.17 told former World No.1 Chris Evert in a live video interview on Instagram.
“So, Rafa’s match was different. I was very relaxed. I told myself that I came here to win and I had to play the best tennis I could.”
Wawrinka’s victory made him the first man apart from his legendary compatriot Roger Federer, Britain’s Andy Murray, Djokovic and Nadal to win a Grand Slam title since Juan Martin Del Potro won the US Open in 2009.
He beat defending champion Djokovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarter-finals after which he beat Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the semis. In the final, he beat Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Wawrinka went on to win the French Open next year and the US Open in 2016.