Photo: Paul ZimmerStanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
Stanislas Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open after defeating an injury-hit Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63 in two hours 21 minutes at Melbourne Park.
In a topsy turvy match it was the Swiss player who came out all guns blazing to take the first set before a tearful Nadal began to struggle with a back injury. At two-sets-to-love down the Spaniard looked close to quitting before raising his level and claiming the third set. His movement was still hampered however and it was Wawrinka who toughed it out in the end. After breaking for a 5-3 lead he raced through his final service game to close out victory on his first championships point.
"I knew it was really, really difficult for him [Nadal]," said Wawrinka. "I was unhappy for that because normally that's not the way I want to win the match, but it's a final. At the end I won in four sets. To get the win, it's just amazing for me."
Wawrinka, who will rise to No. 3 in the rankings as a result of this victory, is the first man to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in a Grand Slam since Sergi Bruguera at 1993 Roland Garros. It was also the first time Wawrinka had defeated Nadal in 13 meetings.
“It 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,” explained Nadal. “That's not the real moment to talk about that. Is the moment to congratulate Stan. He's playing unbelievable. He really deserve to win that title. I very happy for him.”
Daniel Nestor (CAN) and Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) secured their second Grand Slam mixed doubles title after defeating Horia Tecau (ROU) and Sania Mirza (IND) 63 62 in the final.