Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 AUS OPEN: Wawrinka Wins 1st Major Over Injured Nadal!

In one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, Stanislas Wawrinka won his first match against Rafael Nadal in their 13th meeting, which just happened to be in the men's final of the 2014 Australian Open. Wawrinka as the #8 seed made history by beating the #1 seed 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in just under 2-and-a-half hours, the first time in 16 majors that someone other than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Nadal had claimed a major title. It's only the second time since the 2005 Australian Open was won by Marat Safin that someone other than those four and Juan Martin del Potro has won a major.   With this win, Wawrinka will become the new #3 in the world when the new ATP World Tour rankings come out on Monday, surpassing his countryman Federer for the first time. One year ago Wawrinka was ranked #17 (and Nadal was not playing because he was injured.) Wawrinka becomes the first person to beat the #1 and #2 to win a major since Sergi Bruguera did it to win the French Open in 1993. He's also the first person to beat Djokovic and Nadal to win a major.

Nadal was clearly not at his best, and went off the court to receive treatment down 3-6, 1-4 for more than 7 minutes. He also started receiving treatment for his back on the court during every changeover in the second set. It looked like Nadal  might retire from the match when he was down 1-5 in the second set but he played  on and Wawrinka's level dropped and he went down a break early in the 3rd set after closing out the second.

In the end, Nadal started playing better and started holding serve regularly to win the 3rd set and things proceeded on serve in the 4th set as well until the 6th game when Wawrinka broke again. However, Wawrinka was unable to hold serve but was able to break Nadal for the second consecutive service game. Then holding a 5-3 lead Wawrinka easily served out the match game at love.

Congrats, Stanimal!

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