Stan Stuns Favourite
- Updated: January 27, 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka upset the odds to defeat Rafael Nadal and claim the Australian Open title.
Wawrinka, playing in his first-ever Grand Slam final, showed little signs of tension early on as he raced through the opener 6-3.
Nadal, who was struggling with a back injury, couldn’t contain his opponent and was broken early in the second. The Spaniard called for a medical timeout, but it did little to stem the tide. Another visit from the physio followed after game five and, when Wawrinka eased through the second 6-2, the 13-time grand slam champion appeared close to quitting.
But Nadal’s determination, aided by a rise in his opponent’s unforced error count, saw him fight back to take the third 6-3. It was now a test of Wawrinka’s nerve, as much as the Spaniard’s fitness, as to how the fourth would pan out.
The Swiss was up to the task, sealing the title in some comfort.
Wawrinka had never won a set, let alone a match, in 12 previous attempts against Nadal. So, he’ll remember this first for the rest of his life.
Wawrinka’s Australian Open triumph marks his first-ever Grand Slam title. He will rise to world number three when the rankings are updated today.
Wawrinka is the first man outside of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win a Slam since Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open in 2009. He is also the first player to beat the top two seeds at a Slam since Sergi Bruguera got past Pete Sampras and Jim Courier at the 1993 French Open.
Li Na has been celebrating her women’s singles title by showing off the trophy on the beach.
Li, a losing finalist in both 2011 and 2013, now has two Grand Slam trophies to her name, after beating Dominika Cibulkova at Melbourne Park, “Yeah I mean I was pretty close the last two times, I was really happy that finally I have made it, finally I can have her, the trophy, and finally I can take it home with me.”
After becoming the first Asian player to win the Australian Open, her return to China will surely be met with a hero’s welcome.