Stan Wawrinka defeats injured Rafael Nadal to win first Grand Slam title

1/26/14 in Tennis   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Stan Wawrinka defeats injured Rafael Nadal to win first Grand Slam titleIt was a bizarre and not particularly well played match, marred by Rafael Nadal suffering a back injury. For Stanislas Wawrinka, none of that matters. He won his first Grand Slam title 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 over Nadal. Some will try and put an asterisk on this win because of Nadal's injury, but that's bunk. Wawrinka was winning easily, up a set and break before Nadal called for the trainer. On his way to the title, Stan defeated three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic 9-7 in the 5th set. He becomes the first player in 21 years to beat the #1 and #2 seeds en route to a Slam. He's also the first Slam winner outside of the Big Four since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open.

Wawrinka was up 6-3, 2-1 when Nadal called the trainer. When he returned, he didn't look at all like his normal self. He could barely move and his serves were flying in at just 70 mph. Wawrinka won the second set easily.

However, Nadal got somewhat of a second wind in the third set (likely the pain meds started working), while Wawrinka looked tentative and unsure of how to attack the wounded Nadal. Nadal would take the third set and keep pace early in the fourth. Wawrinka broke for a 4-2 lead, but immediately gave that break back in a terrible game with multiple errors club players don't make. Stan broke again for a 5-3 lead, and this time made it count, serving out the match and the championship.

Wawrinka moves all the way up to #3 in the world with this win, and after so many years as the "other Swiss tennis player," he is now the top ranked Swiss player, a position Roger Federer has held for over 13 years. For Nadal, it's obviously a huge disappointment, but as long as the back injury isn't severe, he'll be the overwhelming favorite at the French Open as always.
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