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Australian Open 2014 Day 14: Wawrinka upsets Nadal for title

Stanislas Wawrinka wins the Australian Open 2014
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Sunday 26 January 2014

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the fourteenth day of play at the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne

Big win
Stanislas Wawrinka d. Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

A Super Swiss triumph. But for the first time, it wasn’t Roger Federer. It was Stanislas Wawrinka. The former Swiss No.2, now Swiss No.1, played a set of absolutely brilliant tennis to take a set and break lead over Rafael Nadal, and then beat his mental demons to finish off the show. There was some tennis as ugly as it was beautiful from Wawrinka during the two and a half hour win. But, it got the job done, Wawrinka becoming the first man to beat Djokovic and Nadal to win a major, and the first man outside of  Nadal, Federer, Murray and Djokovic to win a major since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009. 

"I never expect to win a Grand Slam.  I never dream about that because for me, I was not good enough to beat those guy."

It was Wawrinka who drew first blood as Nadal looked nervous and anxious, prompted perhaps by, as we later learned, feeling his back in the warm-up. But the pair went toe-to-toe for it, Wawrinka serving it out 6-3. Taking a break to lead 2-1 in the second, it quickly became clear that something was seriously wrong with Nadal. Leaving the court for a medical timeout, he received treatment intermittently during the set, which Wawrinka served out, not without a few nerves of his own.

"I feel I play my best tennis during one set and one break.  That's for sure.  I was feeling really good on the court.  I was moving well, feeling really aggressive, and I play my best set for sure by far.

"Then wasn't easy.  He get injury.  I saw that.  He wasn't serving at all.  He wasn't moving during one set.  Then was a completely different match.  I had to focus on myself, to try to find the way just to win it.

The third was the bizarre one. Wawrinka seemed clearly affected by Nadal's plight, the world No.1 stumbling around, hardly able to move. And the Swiss helped him by hitting everything out. Nadal won that set, and it looked as though we might be on for a fightback. It was not to be, although, leading 4-2 in the fourth, Wawrinka handed the break straight back. But he gathered his wits, straightened his shirt, and broke again, serving out for his maiden Grand Slam triumph. 

"The problem is I didn't play well because I was waiting for him to miss, and that was a big mistake from myself.  Because I was nervous, I was like, Okay, miss, miss, make a mistake, because I'm not going to win the match because I'm nervous; I start to realize that I can win the Grand Slam.

"That shows me I'm doing the right thing since many years.  That if you practice well, if you work hard, you will always have a chance to be in a great position to play your best tennis."

But what about Nadal?
For the third Australian Open, Nadal found himself severely injured mid-match. Against Andy Murray, he retired, against David Ferrer he played on. And against Wawrinka, he played on.

"Last thing that I wanted to do was retirement.  No, I hate to do that, especially in a final.  Same time, is tough to see yourself during the whole year you are working for a moment like this, and arrives the moment and you feel that you are not able to play at your best," Nadal said. 

"So was not an easy situation for me to be on court like this, but I tried hard until the end, trying to finish the match as good as I can for the crowd, for the opponent, for me.  So that's what I did:  tried everything until the last moment, but was impossible to win this way.  Opponent is too good."

It is credit to his sportsmanship that he did.

"Is the Stan day, not my day.  As I say before, I try my best and was not possible for me today.  I'm obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened.  But that's life, that's sport.  I really had a lot of great moments in my career.  That's a tough one.  Just accept and trying to keep working hard for what's coming."

How bad the injury is and how it came about, remains to be seen.  

Stats of the day
Stanislas Wawrinka becomes the first man since Sergi Bruguera in 1993 to beat the top two to win a Slam, and the first man ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic to win a major. 

Rafael Nadal has never lost a Grand Slam final in straight sets. 

Quotes of the day
"If you don't have doubt, you are arrogant. If you are arrogant, you are unprepared."
Rafael Nadal 

"There's a big chance I get drunk tonight." 
Stanislas Wawrinka 

Video of the day
Wawrinka's post-final speech 

Not forgetting...
Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor beat Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau to win the mixed doubles title.

And finally
So long Melbourne, see you next year...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For all the reports and results from Melbourne Park, visit the Official Australian Open website


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