New champ victorious in Aussie Open

Gamblers emptied their pockets Jan. 26 as No. 8 ranked Stanislas “Stan the man” Wawrinka beat Spain’s raging bull, Rafael Nadal, in a four-set shocker.

Wawrinka became the first player to ever win against both No. 1 Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam tournament. He also became the second Swiss man (behind Roger Federer) to win a Grand Slam singles championship.

His previous match record with Nadal was 0-12, losing all 26 sets. Statistics aside, Wawrinka came out in the first set burying shots. Both players were playing solid tennis.

At the beginning of the second set Nadal took a temporary medical timeout due to back pain.

Wawrinka finished the set strong and quickly outmatched Nadal. Capitalizing on the injury, Stan took the set quickly. Nadal, dealing with a weak back, modified his game. This threw Wawrinka for a spin.

Unable to adjust for slow-paced serves with crazy spin, Nadal took the third set.

The fourth set was make-or-break-it. Wawrinka capitalized late in the set but broke serve to make it 4-2. But Nadal came back with a score of 4-3.

The next game was the straw that broke the camel’s back, or the bull’s in this case.

Stan went up 5-3, to serve out the final game of the match. The Big Four- Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray- have dominated men’s tennis for the last 10 years.

When I say dominated, I mean it. Claiming 34 of the last 36 major titles. That is serious stuff.

The oldest of the four, Federer, is losing steam. His ranking will soon drop to eighth place, a spot he hasn’t hit since 2002.

Could the “Stanimal” be the next to fill Roger’s spot in the Big Four?

Or could the Big Four give birth to another Swiss player, becoming the “Big Five?” It is probably too early to say.

A similar event occurred in 2009 when Argentinean Juan Mart?ndel Potro won the U.S. Open title. The only other non-Big Four player to win one of the past 36 Grand Slam titles.

Although del Potro’s current ranking of fourth place is respectable, he has yet to win another major title. In 2010, del Potro finished the year at No. 258 due to a wrist injury, and since then has ranged anywhere from No. 11 to No. 4 in the rankings.

It is hard to say if anyone expected Wawrinka to win the Australian Open.

“I still don’t know if I’m dreaming or not,” Wawrinka said to an eagerly awaiting crowd. “But we’ll see tomorrow morning.”