An injured Rafael Nadal was kept at bay by Stan Wawrinka, who went on to claim his first career Grand Slam on Sunday in the Australian Open final. Nadal’s loss made way for the emergence of another champion onto the world stage. It is now time to find more about the new champion
The match that lasted for over an hour saw the Swiss player trumping the top seeded Nadal in four sets (6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3) to win the men’s final in at the Rod Laver Arena. An injury in the first set for Nadal did help Wawrinka in taking the match home; however, all credit must be given to the champion who held on his own with one wining backhand after another tearing through the court.
Wawrinka also expressed his regret at the injury stricken Nadal while accepting his trophy and wished him a speedy recovery.
Beating Nadal is itself a feat and Wawrinka was in no mood to lose the game, so the hard-fought match deserved a champion like Wawrinka to lift the shield. Some facts to about the new champion will surely help in understanding him better.
Singles and Doubles Titles
He has won four singles titles and reached the quarterfinals of three Grand Slams in his career. His wins include Oeiras (2013), Chennai (2011), Casablanca (2010) and Umag (2006). Apart from these he has two doubles titles in Chennai (2013) and Beijing Olympics (2008).
Beating Novak Djokovic
The Slovak found a match in the Swiss, who stretched Djokovic for four hours, ending his twenty-five match unbeaten run. The final scores stood at 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 and put brakes on Djokovic dreams to equal Roy Emerson’s record of four Australian Open titles.
Appreciation by John McEnroe
Wawrinka’s one handed backhand got a huge boost when it gained appreciation as the best in the game today by none other than tennis legend John McEnroe.
Family and Multi-Ethnic background
Wawrinka’s father, Wolfram, is a German having a Czech ancestry. His mother, Isabelle, is of Swiss origin. He has an older brother (Jonathan) and two younger sisters (Djanaee and Naella) and holds a dual citizenship (Swiss and German).
Wawrinka has been married to a former model and Swiss television presenter, Ilham Vuilloud, since 2009. A brief separation followed allowing Wawrinka greater time and attention to excel in the sport; however, the couple soon reconciled. Blessed with a girl, Alexia, the couple are currently living in Saint-Barthelemy, which about ten minutes away from Luasanne.
Friendship with Roger Federer
Fellow Swiss and tennis legend Roger Federer has a long-standing friendship with Wawrinka, and both of them had teamed up to win gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men’s doubles event.
The tattoo on Wawrinka’s left forearm is a quote from an Irish poet named Samuel Beckett. The tattoo aptly represents Wawrinka’s spirit in the game and would have inspired him to excel at the highest level:
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
Endorsing brands like Yonez , Audi and Audemars Piquet, Wawrinka is well set for more brands offering to sign him with multi-million dollar endorsements.
With the first major trophy under his belt, Wawrinka would be looking forward to take his game to higher levels and reach the top rankings. The world ranking is currently ruled by Rafael Nadal. Wawrinka is ranked number eight and would look to close the massive 10,000 point gap soon. The facts that have come to fore about Wawrinka sure indicates that the new champion is not someone who will rest on his wins or losses and will keep fighting for his next Grand Slam victory.
By Daris Abraham