Stan Wawrinka has beaten Novak Djokovic before and says he knows he can do so again as the duo prepare to lock horns in tonight’s US Open final.
Wawrinka was the instigator of Djokovic’s only defeat in his last seven major finals as the Swiss demolished the world No 1 in straight sets at last year’s French Open.
It was a devastating defeat for Djokovic, who had been heavy favourite to clinch his first title at Roland Garros, while for Wawrinka it proved he had what it takes to compete with the best.
The world No 3 is now chasing his third grand slam title at Flushing Meadows and, if he can manage a repeat, he will become only the fifth man in the Open era to win more than one major after turning 30.
“I won’t think about the French Open match, but the victory, yes,” Wawrinka said. “I think for sure it’s going to give me confidence to tell myself that I know I can do it because I did it at the French Open final.
“He knows also that I can play my best tennis in the final of a grand slam.
“I have to play my best tennis, my best game. He’s the number one player, an amazing fighter, amazing player, but I have enough confidence in myself that when I play my best level I can beat him.”
Wawrinka won only two of their first 19 meetings, but the turning point came at the 2014 Australian Open, when he ousted Djokovic en route to his first major title.
Djokovic, who has spent much of the tournament trying to shake off niggling injuries to his left wrist and right arm, is bidding to win his third grand slam this year and his 13th overall, a total that would move him to within one of Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal on the all-time list.