As Stan Wawrinka stepped up to the microphone to give his runner-up speech after losing to Roger Federer in the Indian Wells final on Sunday, he got choked up.
It took him a few seconds to compose himself as the crowd cheered sympathetically, recognising an impressive performance throughout the fortnight in the Californian desert.
Yet against Federer in the final, he went down 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes – his 20th loss to his fellow Swiss in 23 meetings.
What had made him so emotional?
“It’s a tough loss. Probably a bit of everything, you know, but some tough match,” Wawrinka explained.
“It’s just who I am. I really am emotional person, and I get to that point when you push the limit in every way possible, when you play a final Grand Slam, that’s when your nerves can be at the top.
“Today it’s more the pressure going out after a tough, tough, tough week, I would say, tough two weeks, tough few weeks.
“After Australia, I wasn’t in a good position. I was really, really struggling with my knee. I wasn’t sure to be back here at that moment, in that level that quick. I had some tough weeks at home to try to be back at that level. So a little bit of everything make that (emotional response).
“Today after the match was tough, but in a positive way, also, because I’m really happy to be in the final here in Indian Wells. It’s still amazing result for me.”
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