Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka won the Australian Open for his first grand slam title when he beat Spain’s Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the final on Jan 26.
Author: Dr. Abdul Ruff
Edited by Divas
Starting with early losses by top women players, including Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Australian Open this year witnessed many surprises.
Now World number one has been downed by an upcoming 28-year-old junior payer.
Playing his first major final, Wawrinka blew past Nadal in the first set behind a barrage of offense. Winning a set alone was a breakthrough for Wawrinka, who had been 0-for-26 in 12 previous meetings against the 13-time Grand Slam champion.
Ranked 8, Wawrinka, 28, became the first player to beat both Nadal and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam and the first player to topple the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds at a Slam since Sergi Bruguera accomplished the feat at the 1993 French Open.
Wawrinka rises to a career-high No. 3, the first man in 21 years to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players en route to a Grand Slam tournament title.
Wawrinka lost in five sets to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open, in the longest Grand Slam match of the season.
Djokovic went on to win his third consecutive title at Melbourne Park, and then beat Wawrinka again in five sets in the US Open semifinals.
But Wawrinka avenged those losses this time, beating Djokovic in five sets in the quarterfinals to end a run of 14 consecutive losses to the Serbian player.
Wawrinka also broke up a sequence of wins for the Big Four, with 34 of the previous 35 majors going to either Nadal, Djokovic, Roger Federer or Andy Murray.
Nadal has actually gained points, owing to his absence from this tournament last year, but second-placed Djokovic has fallen 3,700 behind – the equivalent of almost two grand slam titles. Murray is now the world No 6 and Federer No 8.
Nadal admitted that he felt discomfort in his back during the warm-up. “But that’s life, that’s sport,” Nadal said.
Nadal won the title in 2009, and lost an epic five-set final to Djokovic in 2012. But he missed the 2013 event during a seven-month layoff with knee injuries and illness, and his quarterfinal losses in 2010 and 2011 were affected by injuries.
“Rafa, I’m really sorry for you, I hope your back is going to be fine, you’re a really great guy, good friend and really amazing champion,” Wawrinka said as he accepted his first major trophy.
Wawrinka also admitted that he did not see himself as a potential champion when he flew into Melbourne three weeks ago. The whole tennis community woke up to a new world.
A world in which the old certainties – namely that every grand slam tournament must be won by Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Andy Murray – have been proven wrong.
Wawrinka’s victory has left the world rankings in a reshuffled state. Now Wawrinka will move from No. 8 to No. 3 in the rankings.
In doing so, he’ll surpass Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam event winner who lost to Nadal in the semifinals, to become the highest-ranked Swiss player for the first time in his career.
A constant supporter of his countryman, Federer was one of the first people to call and congratulate Wawrinka after his win.
One final word here. Stan Wawrinka has indeed fought and won the tile at Australia open and there is no question of Nadal gracefully letting him win it.
Australian Open champion Wawrinka says his victory will give other players in the chasing pack the belief that they too can beat the ‘Big Four’ in grand slam tournaments.
Perhaps, a fine turning point for tennis!