After Sunday’s Australian Open, 28 year old Stanislas Wawrinka walked away from the tournament winning his first Grand Slam. Those in attendance at Rod Laver Arena watched in awe as Wawrinka took the win from number one seed Rafael Nadal. Even more surprising is the fact that Wawrinka, who was playing in his first Australian Open, came into the match having lost the previous twelve matches to Nadal. Wawrinka’s win came as an upset, as many were expecting Nadal to take the win with ease. After beating both the number one and number two ranked players at the Australian open, Wawrinka has managed to move from a number eight ranking to a number three.
In his five sets against Nadal, Wawrinka managed to win three of the four sets in his 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6 victory over Nadal at the Australian open. Although this is a huge win for 28 year old Wawrinka, Nadal had been playing the majority of the game with an injury. It was during the second set of the match that Rafael Nadal had to take a medical time out after suffering a back injury. The time-out lasted for a period of over thirty minutes leaving those watching the Open questioning whether or no he would he return to the game. Nadal had already been suffering from back problems going into the Open that worsened throughout the Open. After the break, it was hard to watch as a tennis great played the remainder of the game on the brink of tears.
After the medical time out, there was a noticeable difference in Nadal’s game. Following the time out his serve’s had dropped from around his usual 108 m.p.h. to just 70. In addition, the way that he carried himself throughout the remainder of the match showed that he was clearly in pain.
With Stanlislas Wawrinka’s first Gram Slam win, the Swiss becomes the first player in history to beat both number one and two seeds in the tournament, and then win the Grand Slam as well. When discussing the match as Wawrinka accepted his trophy, the 28 year-old Swiss expressed his concern for his opponent with his statement, “Nadal, I’m really sorry about your injury, I hope your back heals. I think that you are a good friend, a great guy, and an amazing champion.” In response, Nadal replied, “I really have to thank you Stan, you’ve really deserved tonight’s victory. Luck was not in my favor, and today is your day, not mine.”
With the spotlight on Wawrinka, the Swiss then went on to express the sense of awe that he was in, “It was just last year that I had a crazy match, and lost. After the match I was so upset that I couldn’t help but do a lot of crying. Now, this is a dream come true. Right now, I don’t know if I’m dreaming. I guess I’ll just have to find out in the morning.” After the two had exchanged their thoughts on the game, Wawrinka then consoled Rafael at the courtside chairs, and then went to actualize his dreams in lifting up and kissing his first Grand Slam trophy.
By Aaron Weis