Wawrinka beats injured Nadal to capture Aussie Open title

The Sports NetworkJanuary 25, 2014 

Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Stanislas Wawrinka defeated an injured Rafael Nadal in Sunday's men's final at the 2014 Australian Open.

The eighth-seeded Swiss upset the world No. 1 Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena, where the Spaniard labored mightily with an apparent back injury on Australia Day.

Trailing a set and a break, Nadal actually left the court for a medical timeout to a chorus of boos in the second set.

The Grand Slam title is the first of Wawrinka's career, as he becomes only the second-ever Swiss to corral a major singles championship, joining the great Roger Federer, who was blown out Nadal in a semifinal here on Friday.

In the fourth and final set, Wawrinka broke Nadal for a 4-2 lead, but the gritty Spaniard broke right back to hang in there. Wawrinka, however, broke Nadal again and then served out the bout on his first match point by swatting one final forehand winner.

Wawrinka prevailed in 2 hours, 21 minutes by firing 19 aces among his 53 winners (53-19) and tallying three more service breaks (5-2) than Nadal on Day 14.

The Swiss slugger had been 0-12 lifetime against Nadal, including a round of 32 Aussie Open loss in 2007, and had never taken a set off the Spanish great prior to Sunday.

The 2009 champion Nadal was playing in his third career Aussie Open final (1-2) and second in three years.

The 28-year-old Wawrinka was appearing in his first career Grand Slam final.

The 27-year-old Nadal played in his 19th career Grand Slam final overall (13-6), tying Ivan Lendl for second on the men's all-time list.

Wawrinka will move up to a career-high No. 3 in the world on Monday after beating the top-two players in the world this week. He improved to 6-9 in his career finals overall, including 2-0 already in 2014, as he has yet to lose this year (10-0).

Nadal fell to 61-25 in his career finals.

Wawrinka became the first player to beat both Nadal and Djokovic at a Grand Slam event.

American legend Pete Sampras was on the court for the trophy presentation Sunday.

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