Wawrinka Wins Over Nadal
Posted by Rudy Martinez on Jan 26, 2014 - 1:05:20 PM
MELBOURNE—The Grand Slam continues to turn out first-time winners, but not without shocking the tennis world first. In a match spanning four sets,
Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch his first Australian Open title and first major of his career. The match saw the breakdown of Nadal dealing with a back injury which nearly caused him to retire early.
In the 13th meeting between the two gentlemen, the eighth seeded Swiss met the Spaniard in the first final played by Wawrinka in nearly a decade of Grand Slam tournament play. The time of breakthrough for the 28-year-old came in the first set as he dominated Nadal who began to feel the back pain, leaving Wawrinka to slide through the remaining games and take his first ever set against Nadal.
The second proved no better as Wawrinka ran through Nadal in just 38 minutes with a 6-2 set win. The number one seed limped off the court to receive medical treatment as the pain became too much. “At the beginning of the second was the key moment that I felt, during a serve in a bad movement, is very stiff, very bad,” Nadal said in a press conference.
The thought of defeating the world’s best got to the ego of Wawrinka which led to Nadal coming back with brute force, notching 120-mph forehanded serves. The new-found life had him running all over the court trying his hardest to return the ball which helped Nadal prevent a sweep. Most thought that the Spaniard’s performance in the third set meant that it would become the biggest comeback for the world’s best.
The fourth set proved different with Wawrinka on a rush to seal personal success for the first time in his Grand Slam career. The Swiss played an even match up until the sixth game where his opponent’s tenacity began to dwindle, setting Wawrinka on the best moment of his life. He opened the final game with two consecutive aces which helped seal a 6-0 tournament record to 2014.
“I was feeling really good on the court,” said Wawrinka during a press conference. “I was moving well, feeling really aggressive, and I play my best set for sure by far.” The now number 3 world-ranked player in men’s singles had a rather normal run through the first leg of the Grand Slam until his massive upset of Novak Djokovic set him for a moment that became his best.