AO 2014: Wawrinka vs Nadal

Enjoy these exclusive pictures of Wawrinka‘s victory over an injured Nadal. Thanks a lot to Brian Peel!

AO 2014: Wawrinka vs Nadal

AO 2014: Wawrinka vs Nadal

AO 2014: Wawrinka vs Nadal

AO 2014: Wawrinka vs Nadal

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Stanislas Wawrinka beat an injured Rafael Nadal to win his maiden Grand Slam title. Federer, Ferrer, Mauresmo… here are a few players’ reactions on Twitter:

But first Wawrinka’s coach, Magnus Norman:

Amélie Mauresmo who knows a thing or two about players injured in a Grand Slam final:

Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer congratulate Wawrinka and wish a good recovery to their pal Nadal:

and saving the best for last, Kim Clijsters, a few days ago:

Dominika Cibulkova, Chris Evert, Li Na

Li Na overcame a break down in the first set to defeat Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 6-0. It is the second Grand Slam title for the Chinese, who won the Roland Garros 2011 title, defeating Francesca Schiavone in the final.

Li Na’s funny speech:

Dominika Cibulkova, smiling despite the defeat, she can be proud of her performance during the tournament:

Rafael Nadal’s road to the final

Rafael Nadal

Round Opponent Score
R1 Bernard Tomic 6-4 ret.
R2 Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4 6-2
R3 Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 6-3
R4 Kei Nishikori 7-6 7-5 7-6
QF Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-2
SF Roger Federer 7-6 6-3 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka’s road to the final

Stan Wawrinka

Round Opponent Score
R1 Andrey Golubev 6-4 4-1 ret.
R2 Alejandro Falla 6-3 6-3 6-7 6-4
R3 Vasek Pospisil WO
R4 Tommy Roberdo 6-3 7-6 7-6
QF Novak Djokovic 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7
SF Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-7 7-6 7-6
Nadal – Wawrinka head to head
Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2007 Australian Open Hard Nadal 6-2 6-2 6-2
2007 Stuttgart Clay Nadal 6-4 7-5
2007 Paris Bercy Hard Nadal 6-4 6-3
2009 Miami Hard Nadal 7-6(2) 7-6(4)
2010 Rome Clay Nadal 6-4 6-1
2010 Toronto Hard Nadal 7-6(12) 6-3
2010 Shanghai Hard Nadal 6-4 6-4
2012 Monte Carlo Clay Nadal 7-5 6-4
2013 Madrid Clay Nadal 6-2 6-4
2013 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-2 6-3 6-1
2013 Shanghai Hard Nadal 7-6(10) 6-1
2013 London Masters Hard Nadal 7-6(5) 7-6(6)

While Stanislas Wawrinka will play in his first Grand Slam final, with a win on Sunday, Rafael Nadal could equal Sampras’s 14 Grand Slam titles.
The Spaniard could also become the first player in the Open era (and the third overall after Aussie legends Rod Laver and Roy Emerson) to win each Grand Slam title at least twice.

Both players enter the final with great momentum. After struggling to overcome Kei Nishikori in the fourth round and Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals, Nadal beat arch rival Roger Federer in great fashion on Friday. Wawrinka beat three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals and will give it all to take the trophy home, but the stats speak clearly against Wawrinka:

– Nadal leads their head to head 12-0.
– Wawrinka is the seventh different opponent Nadal will face in a Grand Slam final. Only Federer (Wimbledon 2006 and 2007) and Djokovic (Wimbledon and US Open 2011, Australian Open 2012) beat him in the final.
– the last first time Grand Slam finalist to have won the title is Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open. Both Tomas Berdych (Wimbledon 2010) and David Ferrer (Roland Garros 2014) failed to win a set in their final. Their opponent: Rafael Nadal.

Pete Sampras will present the trophy to the winner on Sunday, 20 years after the first of his two Australian victories (1994, 1997). Who do you think will win?

Who will be the 2014 Australian Open champion?

  • Rafael Nadal (33%, 92 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (28%, 80 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (27%, 76 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Stanislas Wawrinka (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Richard Gasquet (0%, 1 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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Photo credit: Tennis Australia

Dominika Cibulkova’s road to the final

Dominika Cibulkova

Round Opponent Score
R1 Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-4
R2 Stefanie Voegele 6-0 6-1
R3 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-0
R4 Maria Sharapova 3-6 6-4 6-1
QF Simona Halep 6-3 6-0
SF Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-2

If 2011 French Open champion and 2-time Australian Open finalist Li Na was one of the favorite for the title, the presence of the diminutive Cibulkova in final was all but expected.
Ranked 24, her best result at a Grand Slam so far had been a semi-final at Roland Garros in 2009.

Cibulkova has won all but one of her matches in straight sets, including three in one hour or less. She is looking to become the first player outside the top 10 since Serena Williams seven years ago to win in Melbourne Park.

Li Na’s road to the final

Li Na

Round Opponent Score
R1 Ana Konjuh 6-2 6-0
R2 Belinda Bencic 6-0 7-6
R3 Lucie Safarova 1-6 7-6 6-3
R4 Elena Makarova 6-2 6-0
QF Flavia Pennetta 6-2 6-2
SF Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-4

Li Na has reached the Australian Open final for the third time in four years: she lost to Kim Clijsters in 2011, a few months before capturing her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros; and she was defeated by Victoria Azarenka in another thrilling match last year.

Li Na was pushed to the brink in the third round by Lucie Safarova, who had a match point to win in straight sets. An unforced error by Safarova allowed the world number four, back into the match and the tournament.

Li Na – Dominika Cibulkova head to head
Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2008 Antwerp Carpet Li Na 6-4 6-3
2010 Madrid Clay Li Na 6-2 3-6 7-5
2012 Rome Clay Li Na 6-1 7-6(4)
2013 Toronto Hard Li Na 7-6(1) 6-2

Li Na appears as the huge favorite of this final: she’ll play her fourth major final overall and Cibulkova only managed to win a set in their four previous meetings.

Who will win between Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova? Please share your thoughts.

Photo credit: Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia

Dominika Cibulkova defeats Simona Halep 6-3 6-0

The Slovakian continues her impressive run and qualifies for the second Grand Slam semifinal of her career, after Roland Garros in 2009.

Agnieszka Radwanska defeats Victoria Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0

What a demonstration of skills by Radwanska who ousted defending champion Azarenka to reach her first semifinal in Melbourne.
Azarenka struggled to cope with Radwanska’s anticipation and sublime touch. If she produces that same high quality tennis against Cibulkova, the Wimbledon 2012 finalist will start favourite in the final, whoever she faces.

Rafael Nadal defeats Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 7-6(3) 7-6(7) 6-2

The world number 1 struggled to defeat Kei Nishikori in the previous round and he struggled again to get past Baby Fed, Grigor Dimitrov.
After half an hour Nadal was already one set down but he raised his level and won the second set on tiebreak. Two big forehand errors when Dimitrov had Nadal at his mercy cost him the third set tiebreak and then the match. Nadal will play on Friday his fourth Melbourne semifinal, which his 22nd Grand Slam semifinal overall.

Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray 6-3 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3

For the first time in a Slam we could have an all-Swiss final. But first, Wawrinka would have to beat 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, and Federer would have to find a way past Nadal, who he hasn’t beaten in a Slam since Wimbledon 2007.
Andy Murray showed an encouraging performance in the Australian Open, a few months after his back surgery. It bodes well for him for the rest of the season.