Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Spain's Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 Sunday in the Australian Open final, winning his first major title.
The 28-year-old Wawrinka needed two hours and 21 minutes to defeat Nadal, who sustained a back injury early in the match.
"It's quite crazy what's happening right now. I never expect to win a Grand Slam. I never dream about that because for me, I was not good enough to beat those guy (sic)," Wawrinka, who will move up to No. 3 in the ATP rankings, said.
The 27-year-old Nadal, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, needed a medical timeout at the end of the second set and was treated for his back injury.
"The back, since the beginning I felt a little bit, from the warmup. It was a little bit worst in the first set. End of the first set, I start to feel worst (sic)," Nadal, who was trying to tie American Pete Sampras for the second-most Grand Slam men's singles titles in tennis history with 14, said.
Switzerland's Roger Federer holds the record with 17 major titles.
The Spaniard, who won his lone Australian Open title in 2009 with a five-set win over Federer, managed to recover and take the third set, but his mobility once again appeared reduced in the fourth set.
Nadal was also seeking to become the first man in the Open Era - which began in the late 1960s - to win each of tennis' four biggest titles at least twice.
The Spaniard lost the 2012 final to Serbia's Novak Djokovic in a grueling five-hour, 53-minute match, the longest-ever Grand Slam singles final.
"Is the moment to congratulate Stan. He's playing unbelievable. He really deserve to win that title. I very happy for him. He's a great, great guy. He's a good friend of mine. I am really happy for him," Nadal, the world No. 1, said.
Wawrinka, who had an 0-12 career record against Nadal going into the Aussie Open final, got two service breaks in the fourth set, controlled his nerves and sealed the win.
"To be honest, I don't realize. I still think that I'm dreaming. It's strange feeling, you know. I saw so many final. I always try to watch the final of Grand Slam because that's where the best player are playing," Wawrinka said.
Wawrinka will now be the top-ranked Swiss player, moving ahead of Federer, who will drop to the No. 8 spot.
"Before today, for me wasn't a dream. I never expect to play a final. I never expect to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it. And especially the way I was playing all the tournament, it's for me a big surprise to play that well. To beat Rafa today, even if he was injury (sic), I think I play my best first set during the match; I was ready to play four hours or five to beat Novak (Djokovic) in the quarter, to beat (the Czech Republic's Tomas) Berdych in semis," Wawrinka said. EFE