Stanislas Wawrinka still coming to terms with Australian Open win
Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in Melbourne
Swiss star says "something amazing for me" to win grand slam
This is not how Stanislas Wawrinka dreamed it would go.
He hadn’t dared to imagine beating the two finest players in men’s tennis to become a grand slam champion.
The unassuming Swiss hadn’t even pictured climbing to No. 3 in the world rankings.
Eclipsing his decorated compatriot Roger Federer as Switzerland’s top tennis player had never crossed his mind either.
But that was before Sunday, before Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal in four sets to become the Australian Open champion.
“I never dreamed about that, never expected to be in that situation and that’s just crazy,” the 28-year-old told CNN, the day after his 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 over world No. 1 and 13-time major winner Nadal.
“You don’t really know what’s happening, I started to tell myself ‘You just won a grand slam.’ It’s something amazing for me.”
Wawrinka even had to take a second glance at the rankings to confirm he hadn’t been dreaming of his new elevated status in the top four of the men’s games. “Just checking!!!” he tweeted on Monday.
He needn’t have worried.
Wawrinka, seeded eighth in Melbourne, comfortably took the first two sets but surrendered a third to Nadal, who was playing through the pain barrier with his movement restricted by a back injury sustained in the warm up
Despite his best efforts Nadal lacked the power to punish his opponent and Wawrinka eventually found himself serving to become Switzerland’s second male grand slam champion.
“I had to really take my time, focus on each point,” explained Wawrinka, who after breaking Nadal for a second time in the fourth set punched himself a few times in the head – seemingly urging himself to concentrate.
“He broke me the game before, I was rushing a little bit. I had new balls. I knew it was all on me.
“I knew my serve was good yesterday. Before match point I took my time, enjoyed the crowd a little bit and tried to make a good plan to win the last point.”
A forehand was enough for Wawrinka to seal success, a new high in a career which also includes men’s doubles Olympic triumph with Federer in 2008.
“The Olympics will always be something special for me because it was my first big victory, with Roger, a good friend, playing for Switzerland,” he said.