Australian Open: Wawrinka and Li Na the big winners


Stanislas Wawrinka captured his first Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open on Sunday night as he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at Melbourne Park. Wawrinka will rise to World No. 3 and Swiss No. 1 on Monday after becoming the 36th man in the Open Era to win his first major title in his maiden final, according to atpworldtour.com.
“It’s quite crazy what’s happening right now. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. I never dreamed about that because for me, I was not good enough to beat those guy”, said Wawrinka.
It was a major triumph for the 28-year-old Wawrinka, who had dethroned three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in five sets in the quarter-finals, before topping Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals. The Swiss came out firing in the first set and raced to a set and a break lead playing an aggressive brand of tennis that Nadal struggled to find the answer to. However, a back injury to Nadal caused drama for the remainder of the final. The Spaniard pulled up in the third game of the second set and after treatment off-court, was clearly impeded for the remainder of the championship match.
In the women’s final, Li Na survived some tense moments in the first set then ran away with it in the second to beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-6, 6-0 and win her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. The woman who became Asia’s first Grand Slam champion at the French Open in 2011 is now a two-time Grand Slam champion. She will return to No.3 on Monday, the highest ranking ever for an Asian player, and she will only be a handful of points from No.2. She’ll also be No.1 in the Road To Singapore standings, which lead to the WTA Championships.
Tecau lost Mixed Doubles final
Canadian Daniel Nestor won his fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles title on Sunday in Melbourne as he and French Kristina Mladenovic defeated Romanian Horia Tecau and Indian Sania Mirza 6-3, 6-2 in 58 minutes, atpworldtour.com reports. The 29-year-old Tecau was chasing his second Australian Open mixed doubles trophy, having won with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the 2012 final.
“Horia is a very good player, very solid player,” said Nestor. “But there’s things he doesn’t like to do as well. I think we did a good job of returning his serve, putting some pressure on him. Maybe he lost a little bit of confidence.  He probably didn’t return as well as he normally does today. I think the way we’ve been playing, there wasn’t that much to change. Especially this tournament, we’ve been in control most of the matches.”

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