THE world is celebrating two new Australian Open champions.
Stanislas Wawrinka won the first Grand Slam of his career at Melbourne Park (pictured – courtesy of tennis.com.au) on Sunday night after overcoming a wounded Rafael Nadal.
Sports News First reports, the Swiss eighth-seed raced through the opening set winning it six games to three dominating the world No. 1, before it became apparent, Nadal was dealing with a back complaint.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
He took an injury time-out early in the second set and then returned barely able to serve or move and as a result Wawrinka easily opened up a two sets to love lead.
However, then Nadal revived himself and perhaps the pain-killers kicked in while Wawrinka felt the pressure that now suddenly there was a Grand Slam title for him there for the taking.
Nadal won the third set easily to force a fourth, but Wawrinka steadied himself to win and take the match 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 21 minutes.
It was a brave performance from Nadal to keep fighting despite his back complaint and jeers from the crowd when a record number of players at this year’s Australian Open have retired mid-match at the slightest sign of a bit of pain.
Wawrinka is now the highest-ranked Swiss player, surpassing Roger Federer for the very first time.
It followed a dominant performance by China’s Li Na in the women’s decider on Saturday night.
The crowd favourite took just two sets to do away with Dominika Cibulkova.
The 31-year-old world No. 4 had previously played in two Australian Open finals and lost both in 2011 and 2013.
It was a tight battle in the first set of the final on Rod Laver Arena with it going to a tie-break, but the Chinese veteran managed to prevail in that and then dominate the second set in just 22 minutes to win the match 7-6, 6-0.
Na continued to win fans after the match, with her speech trending on Twitter.
She started by thanking her agent: “Max, agent, make me rich, thanks a lot” she said.
Then she turned to her husband of eight years, Dennis: “Thanks (to) him with everything, travelling with me as my hitting partner. (He) fixes my drink, fixes my raquet… So thanks a lot, you’re a nice guy.”
“Also, you’re so lucky, you found me”.