How Wawrinka’s class, and a crippling back injury, left Nadal in tears


View photo


After Stanislas Wawrinka's dramatic win over Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open, we review the most telling moments of a memorable encounter.


Wawrinka played some sublime tennis to record his first Grand Slam win but the match in Melbourne also witnessed a show of incredible resilience from Nadal.

Despite suffering from a debilitating back injury, the Australian crowd did not take too kindly to Nadal disappearing for a medical time-out and remarkably booed the former champion as he returned to the court.

Such a vocal show of dissent was entirely unexpected as Nadal is known as the nicest man in tennis and is always very gracious and polite in interviews, taking time to compliment supporters across the globe.

And after finally succumbing to defeat having bravely battled for a set, Nadal refused to criticise the Melbourne crowd despite their earlier condemnation of him.

As early as the third game of the match, Wawrinka showed he would be a force to be reckoned with.

After winning the first set with almost contemptuous ease, Wawrinka set out his intentions with the very first point of the second set too, finishing off this rally with a booming winner.

And the Swiss star claimed an early back with this stunning backhand – described by our commentators as one of the greatest returns of all time.

However, Nadal pulled up with a nasty back injury in only the third game of the second set, severely restricting his movement and leaving the Spaniard wracked with pain.

Nadal required a medical time-out and disappeared into the bowels of the stadium in Melbourne.

An upset Wawrinka appeared unimpressed as he asked the umpire what the reason for Nadal’s disappearance was.

Meanwhile, when Nadal reappeared he was remarkably booed by some of the fans in Melbourne.

Nadal bravely soldiered on but was left in tears by the pain afflicting his back as he desperately tried, and failed, to stay in the second set.

Though he battled on to take the third set, it was Wawrinka who triumphed in four sets to win his first Grand Slam.

View comments (507)