Swiss no 1. Stanislaus Wawrinka beat heavy favourite Rafael Nadal to win the first grandslam of the year, the Australian Open at Melbourne. Wawrinka won 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3. Nadal hobbled out of court in the middle of the second set for a medical timeout after a back injury along with the blisters in his playing hand. Wawrinka appeared distraught and was seen complaining to the referee. The crowd too joined him and booed Nadal.
Wawrinka took a 2 seat lead and looked amazingly composed and the discomfort looked obvious on the injury hampered Nadal’s face. Infact, Sampras, after the semi – finals, had said that it would be difficult for Wawrinka to stop Nadal. The 8th seeded Wawrinka, by beating Nadal (No. 1 seed) and Djokovic (No. 2 seed), became the first player in 2 decades since Sergei Brugera to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players and the first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament. With this win, Wawrinka seems to be getting out of Federer’s shadows, who himself would face increasing competition in the form of Wawrinka at the top from other than the top 3.
Nadal battled through injuries thorughout the match and the tournament. Sampras admitted, “The movement he has is incredible, he is able to adjust his shots on the run, I’ve just never seen anything like it. He added, “He’s not looking at 14 (grand slams), he’s looking beyond. Realistically he could well get to 17 or 18 majors when it’s all said and done. He’s a great credit to the sport.” in a BBC interview. Nadal would surely go past 14, if not now, but soon enough.
The best man today won. Tennis has a new champion, Stan Wawrinka.