Wawrinka's shorts steal the limelight
FORGET the breathtaking backhands, formidable forehands and astonishing aces that Stanislas Wawrinka produced during his magnificent run to the French Open title - it was his bizarre red and white checked shorts that stole the limelight on Sunday when he beat Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
Where did he get the design? A pair of pyjamas tucked away in his father's wardrobe, or was it from a 1970s wallpaper still hanging in an old relative's house? Perhaps it was from a blanket handed down in the family over generations.
The hullabaloo over his outfit was not lost on the new champion, as he draped the baggy shorts over the dais in front of him, placing them next to the gleaming Musketeers' Cup.
"I know a lot of people talk about it, and it's quite funny that they won the French Open," a grinning Wawrinka said after joining the likes of Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl in completing the boys' trophy - Musketeers' Cup double at Roland Garros.
A few days after declaring he was going to "swim, play tennis and then sleep in them", he announced that the star attraction of the French Open this year was heading for a new home.
"They will be in the museum of Roland Garros. You will see my shorts every day if you want," he added to hoots of laughter. "Everybody talks about those shorts since I put them on. Apparently I'm the only one who likes it."
Jokes aside, the Swiss was still struggling to digest the fact that he had won a second Grand Slam title - and doneit by overcoming a player who had, until Sunday, been unbeatable on clay this year.
Djokovic had been on a 28-match winning streak. The world No. 1 had beaten nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and third seed Andy Murray to enter the final with a 16-0 record on clay this year.
The Serb had also beaten Wawrinka in 17 of their last 20 meetings.
Despite the stats stacked against him, Wawrinka showed that what happens in the past does not dictate the future.
"To say that I won the French Open, it's something completely crazy," said the 30-year-old. "Winning this one is really special, playing Novak here in final, the No. 1 player. He won almost everything since beginning of the year.
"I'm still surprised by the way I played, because I think I played amazing today. I was really nervous but I didn't choke. I was always going for my shots."
A slow starter who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 18 months ago, he added: "It's quite strange when I tell myself that I have an (Olympic) gold medal, the Davis Cup and two Grand Slams. It's quite amazing. Never expected that so late in my career."