sports gazette

Stan-ning Wawrinka wins first Slam in Australia

© angela n. : Wawrinka won his first slam title in his first final
Published: 26 Jan 2014

Stanislas Wawrinka won his first ever Grand Slam title by defeating Rafael Nadal in a very dramatic Australian Open final 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3.

The Swiss had to overcome all the odds as he stepped on court with a record of 12 losses against the world number one, with no sets won in the process.

However, it was clear from the very first games that Wawrinka, who will move ahead of Roger Federer in the rankings for the first time in his career, did not fear the moment, despite being in his first ever slam final.

On the contrary, Nadal looked absolutely shocked by the game produced by the world number 8, especially off the initial key shots: the serve and the return.

Wawrinka looked calm and confident, taking the necessary risks and seizing the chances whenever he had any.

The only moment of nerves he suffered in the first set was when serving for the set as he fell behind 0-40, but he solved the problem, producing some amazing serves, going on to hold.

At the beginning of the second set things evolved like in the first, Wawrinka looked in full control of the match, dictating points as if he was the world number one.

Then, all of a sudden, Nadal cringed from pain after hitting an error off the forehand wing and asked for a medical time out and that completely disrupted the Swiss’ rhythm.

Wawrinka had a colourful interaction with the umpire as Nadal was taken off the court to receive medical treatment, but he managed to channel his rage into his game plan at first as he sailed through the second set, whilst Nadal looked more and more on the verge of retiring.

The third set saw the Swiss being hit by the massive pressure on his shoulders, two sets up against an injured world number one on his first slam final. He simply could not deal with it.

Wawrinka started to produce too many errors and the Spaniard, whose serve was particularly tentative, left him with no chance of creating rhythm.

Like in a nightmare, Wawrinka was unable to regain the consistency of the first two sets, as the painkillers started to take effect on Nadal’s body. Nadal held on to his early break to take the match to the fourth set.

The court change then seemed to finally give Wawrinka the chance to find some coolness again as he started the new set with an efficient game plan again, breaking the Spaniard to love.

Nadal’s serve was still suffering as a result of the back problems, but the rest of the game suddenly rose to his first set level.

However, this stirred Wawrinka, and gave him the confidence to start playing his tennis again.

After losing his serve, Nadal managed to break back for 3-4, but the Swiss did not let this bring him down. He promptly took a break lead again and this time did not give any chance to the Spaniard, serving it out for his first ever slam title.

There was no massive outburst of emotion from him as he stayed classy, not celebrating the pain of his opponent, but his voice broke when he gave the fully deserved winner’s speech.

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