Wawrinka and Li Na Surprise Champs In Melbourne

Jan 31, 2014

Stanislas Wawrinka and Li Na were hardly short-priced favourites to win their respective singles titles at the recent 2014 Australian Open in Melbourne, but win the titles they did, in what can only be considered a surprise result for most tennis fans, the top two seeds in the respective men’s and women’s events were the clear favourites coming into the tournament, with top seed Rafael Nadal and the second-seeded Novak Djokovic hogging all the headlines on the men’s side and Serena Williams (No.1) and Victoria Azarenka (No.2) the women’s, Li was already a previous Grand Slam champion (French Open 2011), so although her title run was unexpected, she was among the favoured contenders of the women outside the big two, Wawrinka’s title run however was totally unexpected and a refreshing shock right from the crisp clean air of the Swiss Alps itself.

Li wrote her own great story in Melbourne, after facing match point and elimination against the 26th seeded Czech Lucie Safarova in the third round, Madame Li then built strong momentum from the fourth round onwards to reach yet another Grand Slam final, after a nervous first set against shock first-time Grand Slam finalist Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia, Li took control of the title match and deservedly secured her 2nd Grand Slam title in the last three years, the fact that neither Serena or Vika was in the championship decider was the biggest surprise of all though.

As much as China will be celebrating Li Na’s victory once again, the 2014 Australian Open will be fondly remembered by most for the performance of Switzerland’s Stan “the man” Warinka, Stan (No.8 seed) played some breath-taking tennis throughout the fortnight and became the first man to ever beat Djokovic and Nadal in the same major championship, Wawrinka’s victory was certainly a surprise to most though as the 28 year old Swiss had never even reached a Grand Slam final before, let alone win one, although Nadal was obviously hampered in the decider, Stan produced some dominating power tennis against the world No.1 and fully deserved his first Grand Slam title, the win in Melbourne also saw Wawrinka rise up the world rankings to a career high world No.3.

Just when we thought the Grand Slam tournaments were going to continue to be dominated by the big guns, along came Li Na and Stanislas Wawrinka to change all that, all in all it was a very interesting and refreshing Australian Open of 2014.

Written by: Tono

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