Wawrinka defeats injured Nadal to win Australian Open
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Stanislas Wawrinka held firm in a match of high drama to defeat an injured Rafa Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 and win his maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday.
The eighth seed roared to a two-set lead after top seed Nadal struggled with an apparent back injury sustained early in the second set, but the Swiss was left stunned as his opponent suddenly revived in the third at Rod Laver Arena.
Though restricted in his movement, Nadal fought back into the match with a barrage of clean hitting, completely throwing the Swiss off his game who surrendered the third set in a hail of unforced errors.
Wawrinka captured a break in the fourth set, surrendered it with a terrible service game, but recovered again to earn a chance to serve for the match.
He stayed cool when it counted, serving strongly and sealing the win with an imperious forehand rocketing down the line.
A relieved Wawrinka raised his hands in the air in celebration and after shaking hands with a gloomy Nadal, went to console the Spaniard at his chair.
"First, Rafa, I'm really sorry for you, I hope your back is okay, you are a great friend and a great champion," Wawrinka said at the trophy ceremony.
"You did a remarkable comeback last year. For me it's the best grand slam ever. Continued...