After some gruelling tennis for the past two weeks, the US Open 2016 men's singles has boiled down to the final day of the competition. The title-decider has all the ingredients of a classic encounter, with Novak Djokovic set to take on Stan Wawrinka in the final at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday.
Djokovic's route to the finals has been one of a kind. The Serbian, who started the US Open as favourite, has only played three full matches to reach the final. Two of his opponents retired from the match to help him progress into the next round of the competition, while one withdrew from the competition due to injury.
Despite lack of match practice, the top seed did show his amazing skills in the semifinals where he got past Gael Monfils in four sets. There was an air of confidence as he defeated the Frenchman en route to the finals, which is expected to be a cracker. The top seed might not have been troubled much in the US Open so far, but this final against Wawrinka is not going to be an easy one.
The Swiss player has a strong game to defeat any top player in the world, and Djokovic is aware of the need to play some amazing tennis to win his third US Open title. Wawrinka survived a big scare in the fourth round of the competition, where he faced Daniel Evans, who took him to five sets. After which, the Swiss has defeated big players like Del Potro and Kei Nishikori.
"He's (Wawrinka) a big match player. He loves to play in the big stage against big players, because that's when he, I think, elevates his level of performance in his game. Just gets much better. I think he was very close to lose in second or third round in this tournament, some match points, and he was struggling with his form," US Open's official website quoted Djokovic as saying.
"But the last couple of matches he's getting in that shape that is, you know, winning him big matches. I lost to him in finals of French Open and I lost to him in quarterfinals of Australia when he won, as well."
Djokovic might have had a better record against Wawrinka in the past, with a 19-4 win loss record, but the Swiss has always provided a tough match for the Serbian. Wawrinka will take confidence from his huge wins in his career, against Djokovic in the finals of the 2015 French Open and the 2014 Australian Open.
Wawrinka is also confident of winning the US Open 2016 final if he gets his A game going.
"I have to play my best tennis, my best game. He's the No. 1 player, amazing fighter, amazing player, but I have enough confidence in myself that when I play my best level I can beat him. Hopefully I can bring that Sunday. But it's the biggest challenge. When you play Novak, the No. 1 player in the final of Grand Slam, it's the biggest challenge you can have," Wawrinka said.
What makes the final even more interesting is their amazing game from the baseline. With both players possessing an incredible backhand, one could witness some incredible rallies finished off with their booming and precise backhand, which has caught number of players napping, in the past. Besides their skills on the court, both the players are mentally strong, which is going to be needed on Sunday to lift the all-important final trophy.
Where to watch live
US Open 2016 men's singles final between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka is expected to start at 4 p.m. local time [1:30 a.m. IST [Monday], 9 p.m. BST].
India: TV: Ten 1 and Ten 1 HD. Live Streaming: Tensports live.
US: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Europe: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.
Canada: TV: TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
International: Live Streaming: US Open website.