Tennis on Sling TV: Djokovic vs. Wawrinka in Men’s Finals at the 2016 U.S. Open

Sep 11, 2016 by Scott Ross

(All times Eastern)

On Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Aneglique Kerber defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-3 4-6 6-4 to win her first US Open title, and her second Grand Slam title of 2016. And with her showing at the Open these past two weeks, she is poised to ascend to the top of the women’s tennis world when the new rankings are released, knocking off Serena Williams, who has ruled for more than three years.

“It means a lot to me. When I was a kid, I was always dreaming to one day be the No. 1 player in the world, to win Grand Slams,” Kerber said afterward.

Now it’s on to the Men’s finals…

Novak Djokovic [2] vs. Stan Wawrinka [3]
4pm ET on ESPN
Novak Djokovic reached his sixth U.S. Open final in the last 7 years by defeating Gael Monfils 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-2, as Monfils’ 52 unforced errors more than outweighed his 11-1 advantage in aces. Djokovic became so frustrated at one point that he tore open the collar of his shirt, playing the final set of the third set with a rip halfway down his torso. Asked after the match why he did, he responded, “I keep asking myself the same question.”

It may have been Monfils’ untraditional style, which ESPN called “rope-a-dope,” as the Frenchman hit a number of lazy returns that led commentator John McEnroe to say, “This is bordering on unprofessional. The only reason I’m saying borderline is because it’s working.”

It was only the third complete match of the Open for Djokovic, who has had three opponents begged off do to injury, and so is presumably more rested than his opponent in the finals, Stan Wawrinka, who has now played 17 sets in the last four rounds. Djokovic has played just 13 through the whole tournament.

Stan Wawrinka dropped his first set Friday against Kei Nishikori, before ripping off three straight to emerge victorious 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-2. This is just Wawrinka’s third Grand Slam final, though he’s won both of his previous ones, at Roland Garros in 2015, where he beat Djokovic in the finals, and the Australian in 2014, where he beat Nadal.

Djokovic has a career record of 19-4 against Wawrinka, including wins at the U.S. Open in 2013 and 2012, though Wawrinka has beat him twice in Grand Slam play, at the Australian in 2014 and at the French in 2015. A victory would be Djokovic’s 13 Grand Slam title, and move him into sole possession of fourth-most all time, one behind Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal, and four behind Roger Federer.

Watch the Men’s Finals at the 2016 U.S. Open Sunday at 4pm ET on ESPN by subscribing to Sling Orange.

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