Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka stunned No. 1 Rafael Nadal with a four-set 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory in the Australian Open Final on Sunday.
Taking advantage of a bad back that plagued Nadal throughout, the 29-year-old Wawrinka beat the Spaniard for the first time in 13 tries. In their previous 12 matches, Wawrinka had never won a single set.
Blazing a trail to his first career slam, Wawrinka was certainly battle-tested. The No. 8 ranked player also beat No.2 Novak Djokovic in the quarters before denying Nadal his 14th career title.
Wawrinka is the first player in the last 21 years to beat the two top-ranked players in the world en route to a slam title, and will surpass Roger Federer as the highest ranked Swiss player in the world.
Visibly upset after the match, Nadal could have been the first men’s player to win every major slam at least twice in the Open Era.
Nadal took a medical time out in the second set, and could have relinquished the match to Wawrinka but pressed on and took the third set. It’s just the sixth loss for Nadal in the last nine months, and all but one has been in a semifinal or final.
"Rafa, I'm really sorry for you, I hope your back is going to be fine, you're a really great guy, good friend and really amazing champion," Wawrinka said afterwards. "Last year I had a crazy match, I lost it. I was crying a lot after the match. But in one year a lot happened -- I still don't know if I'm dreaming or not but we'll see tomorrow morning."
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