January 26, 2014
The tournament of shocks has ended with yet another.
Stanislas Wawrinka out-gunned an injured Rafa Nadal to take the Australian Open 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
In doing so he became the first man in twenty years to beat the top two players on the way to winning a Slam. No one had ever beaten Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to win a major before either.
Tearful Rafa hurt his back when he was already a set and two games behind and needed a medical time out. He battled on bravely and even took the third set when a comeback seemed impossible. But a shocked Wawrinka composed himself and raised his game once more, to take the title in four.
Having defeated Novak earlier in the tournament, no one can say Stan The Man didn’t merit his moment of triumph. But you had to feel for Rafa after all that time out last year with a knee injury.
A generous Nadal said: ‘Stan you really deserve it. Bad luck was against me today but you deserve it. I tried very, very hard. Sorry to finish this way.’
Stan said: ‘I’m really sorry for you, I hope your back is going to be fine, you’re an amazing guy.
‘For me it’s the best Grand Slam ever. Last year in Australia I had a crazy match (against Djokovic) and I cried a lot after I lost it. I think I’m dreaming now but I’ll find out tomorrow morning.’
To look at Wawrinka, you’d think he really has achieved the impossible. Now all the world’s not-so tall, not-so slim guys are going to go out and do something extraordinary in sport too. We all know Stan isn’t really chunky. He just appears that way – especially when he stands next to Nadal – who wouldn’t? So us guys who don’t quite look the part in sports kit are suddenly going to think we can go out and become a superhero. Look out for injuries and disappointments the world over!
But Super Stan Wawrinka – who is really as fit as they come – can go from strength to strength now. He can look forward to the right kind of seeding at Grand Slam events, so he won’t have such a gruelling path to glory for quite a while.
As for Rafa, all the talk of Calendar Slams and Non-Calandar Slams can be set aside for another year. Instead he faces yet another fight for fitness. Nadal has plenty of time to win that battle before Wimbledon. So we can expect to see him right back to his best for the big one. Meanwhile Wawrinka – the new world number three – will feel just as confident that he can wow the grass-court crowds during the next European summer.
As for Roger, he played a great tournament but isn’t the best player in Switzerland now. The Fed slips down to world number eight. He isn’t going to take that lying down.
But if the Australian Open has taught us anything this year, it is this: absolutely anything can happen at a Slam!
Would anyone have bet on Li Na and Wawrinka becoming our two champions at the end of an amazing fortnight? There were more twists and turns in Melbourne than you find in an Agatha Christie novel!
Let’s hope for more this year and at the greatest Slam of them all – Wimbledon. We have no idea what will happen in June and July. But we do know we can guarantee you fantastic seats to soak up all the gloriously unpredictable action in London.
Just click the link and book your way into a world of thrilling drama. Can’t wait!