Stanislas Wawrinka has clinched the US Open title after beating Novak Djokovic in a thrilling finale to the final Grand Slam of 2016.
Wawrinka, 31, recovered from losing the opening set to seal a 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-4 6-3 victory over the world no. 1. It marks the end of a disappointing summer campaign for Djokovic, who crashed out early in Wimbledon after a shock defeat to Sam Querrey and stumbled again at the Rio Olympics, where he was eliminated by Juan Martin del Potro.
In his latest final at Flushing Meadows, the Serbian wilted as the contest wore on with Wawrinka's power and stamina proving to be too much.
After a number of injury withdrawals, Djokovic made his way to the final having played just three matches from a possible six, raising questions whether he would be sharp enough for a demanding showdown with Wawrinka.
The Serbian showed no sign of such problems early on after sealing the first set after a tie break, but errors began to creep into his usually flawless game in the second. A third double fault of the match allowed his Swiss opponent to take a decisive break in the second set. While Djokovic, a winner of this competition in 2011 and 2015 broke back, Wawrinka held his nerve to level the contest.
Wawrinka, who has so often been in the shadow of his countryman Roger Federer, could sense Djokovic was hurting and rallied in the third set, storming into a 3-0 lead. Djokovic himself managed to fight his way back, but was broken again serving at 6-5. The Serb unraveled from there, with Wawrinka moving onto set point with a punishing forehand down the line. Fighting to stay in the set, the defending champion could only offer a wayward backhand that handed the third set to the Swiss.
Djokovic was drained as the fourth set wore on and called for a medical time out having fallen 3-1 down. The decision riled Wawrinka somewhat but it appeared to work, with Djokovic opening up three break points opportunities for himself. He couldn't take them, however, and despite another medical time out during the final changeover, he was unable to halt Wawrinka's march to glory.