Ok, so we all know that Rafa lost to the new Swiss numbero uno, Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. To me, it is refreshing to see another player that’s not named Nadal, Federer, Murray, or Djokovic hoisting a major trophy over their head; Stan Wawrinka earned every single point in his final match against the world #1. But I’m starting to see that Wawrinka’s AO win is being tainted by Rafa’s “injury” already.
Rafa got beat…
…but not because he was injured. Rafa got beat because Stan outplayed him and finished points exactly when he needed. He played an amazing final match that he should remember for the rest of time; he played a “Perfect” match in Australia.
There wasn’t much Rafa Nadal could do; Stan was hitting past him and through him, Rafa was seemingly on defense the entire first two sets. Stan kept coming up with the goods, crushing 53 winners where Nadal could only manage 19, which is far below his tournament average of 28.
Wawrinka AO win being tainted began in set #2
After Stan wrapped up the first set neatly six games to three; the second set started, Nadal was broken. Down love two; Rafa calls for an MTO (Medical Time Out) at the next change of ends…wut? Is something severely wrong? Is he trying to throw off a dominating Wawrinka from his game? It just didn’t seem like an event had “happened” that lead to Nadal becoming injured.
Whether Rafa was injured or not, his untimely MTO was not appreciated by the Aussie crowd. Upon Nadal’s return…after nearly 7 minutes since the last point had been played, the fans who paid a premium to watch Nadal compete BOOed him for taking so long. Stan stayed full steam ahead after that fiasco, winning the second set in convincing fashion, 6-2; Rafa’s “plan” failed.
Considering I wasn’t there, I don’t know the details and I don’t think we ever will, but at the end of the day that MTO played a part in throwing Wawrinka off his game. It was on his mind, you can tell, especially since Rafa looked like he was about to fall over after every point.
If you’ve ever played tennis against a ‘wounded’ player, you know how challenging it can be to play your game. You begin to think that maybe you shouldn’t move them around the court too much because you don’t want to further their injuries, so better to hit at them and keep the tennis going. Stan got a whif of that in the third, lost his concentration and lost 3-6.
In the end, Wawrinka played an amazing match and it should not be tainted by whatever drama was going on with Nadal, who can’t seem to accept defeat. He should be fully aware of what his words can do, saying that he was injured will lead to titles such as “Wawrinka beats injured Nadal for first major at Aussie Open” SOURCE and “Out-Stan-Ding: Wawrinka Stuns Injured Nadal To Win Australian Open” SOURCE just to name a few, which in short are tainting the win…because Nadal’s injury is supposedly more important than Stan’s amazing victory.
I’m also a hypocrite
I’ve spent the last hour or so writing about my distaste with the media spinning Wawrinka’s spectacular win over Nadal by writing about it. So I guess that makes us all a couple of cheaters in the game, no?
For those of you interested, I’ve compiled a list of all the injuries Nadal has claimed after a painful loss:
2007 Wimbledon vs. Federer – Knee
2007 US Open vs. Ferrer – Knee
2008 Rome vs. Ferrero – Foot blisters
2009 French Open vs. Soderling – Knee
2009 US Open vs. Del Potro – Abdominal tear
2010 Australian Open vs. Murray – Knee
2011 AO vs. Ferrer – Hamstring
2012 Wimbledon vs. Rosol – Knee
2013 Wimbledon vs. Darcis – Knee
2014 Australian Open vs. Wawrinka – Back