• Australian Open

Wawrinka: I still think that I'm dreaming

ESPN staff
January 26, 2014
Wawrinka not thinking about future Slams

Stanislas Wawrinka has yet to fully realise he has become the Australian Open champion as he says he never expected to become a Grand Slam winner.

The Swiss defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday to lift his maiden major, and his first win in 13 attempts against the Spaniard.

Wawrinka had not even taken a set off Nadal in those defeats, but he overcame an injured opponent to get his hands on the opening Grand Slam of the year in four sets.

Stan the man in Australian Open mind game

Stanislas Wawrinka won his maiden grand slam in Melbourne © Getty Images
  • Stanislas Wawrinka's Australian Open triumph proved to everyone - himself included - that he has the physical ability to match the world's very best, but perhaps even more importantly he showed the mental fortitude to go with it as well, writes Chris Wilkinson.
  • Click here to read the full column

And set to rise to No. 3 in the world rankings, and overtake Roger Federer as the top-ranked player from Switzerland, Wawrinka revealed he did not even think he could make it to a major final let alone win.

"I still think that I'm dreaming. It's a strange feeling. I saw so many finals. I always try to watch the final of a Grand Slam because that's where the best players are playing. Before today, for me, [it] wasn't a dream. I never expected to play a final," Wawrinka said.

"It's quite crazy what's happening right now. I never expected to win a Grand Slam. I never dreamed about that because, for me, I was not good enough to beat those guys."

Wawrinka ousted Novak Djokovic, champion of the Australian Open for the past three years, in the quarter-finals, and saw off Tomas Berdych in the last four, before beating Nadal in the final.

And reflecting on his tournament, Wawrinka said: "To beat Rafa today, even if he was injured, I think I played my best first set during the match.

"I was ready to play four hours or five to beat Novak in the quarters, to beat Berdych in [the] semis. That showed me [that] I'm doing the right thing [over] many years. That if you practice well, if you work hard, you will always have a chance to be in a great position to play your best tennis."

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