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Wawrinka beats Nadal to win Australian Open

Stanislas Wawrinka beat an injury-hit Rafael Nadal to win the first Grand Slam of his career in the Australian Open final in Melbourne on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Wawrinka had never taken a set off Nadal in 12 previous meetings, but attacked from the start against the 13-time major winner and regained his nerve after dropping the third set against the injured Spaniard.

Wawrinka was a huge underdog against Rafa, but he played superbly in the first set and was in control of the second when the world number one suffered a back injury.

Remarkably Nadal managed to win the third set but Wawrinka eventually got his focus back in the fourth to clinch a 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory.defeated an injured Rafael Nadal in a dramatic Australian Open final to win his first grand slam title.

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"It's really not the way you want to win a tennis match, but in a Grand Slam final I'll take it," said Wawrinka, the first man in 21 years to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players en route to a Grand Slam title.

Wawrinka will move to a career-high No. 3 Monday, the first time he has ranked ahead of 17-time major winner Federer, who he teamed with to win the 2008 Olympic gold medal in doubles.

"I saw Roger winning so many Grand Slams in the past, so now it's my turn to win one," said Wawrinka, the first man to win a major besides Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Andy Murray since Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 U.S. Open. "I did have an amazing two weeks, and I was playing my best tennis ever."

Nadal said: "[Wawrinka] played unbelievable to win that title. I'm very happy for him. He is a great friend of mine and he deserved it.

"I played a few great matches - against Monfils and Federer. I played enough well to be in the final. I go home knowing I did as much as I can."

When asked about his back, the Spaniard replied: "In that moment I was too worried to think what happened. My physio tried to relax it a bit - but I [wanted] to finish the match for the crowd, for the opponent, and for me."

The Swiss is the first man to beat Novak Djokovic and Nadal at the same grand slam, and turning to the Spaniard he said: "I'm really sorry for you and I hope your back is going to be fine."

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