Wawrinka ended a 12-game losing streak against Nadal to claim his first Grand Slam title but only after the Spaniard was hit by a crippling injury in the second set which required lengthy treatment.
Nadal showed incredible resilience to recover from his back problem to take the third set, and Greg Rusedski said the 13-time Grand Slam winner deserved huge credit, even if he did lose in Melbourne.
“Nadal you have to give so much credit to,” said Rusedski. “He fought through it. He must have been in excruciating pain – mentally and physically – after losing that second set but he did the right thing to finish the match.”
As for Wawrinka, Greg was gushing in his praise for the some of the tennis played by the Swiss in a dominant first set.
“If you would have picked Wawrinka to win you would have been a brave man but he deserved his first major title,” he said.
“He beat Novak Djokovic, the three-time defending champion, and on top of that he did play in the first set-and-a-half the most beautiful tennis I have seen anybody play this year.”
Virigina Wade also watched Wawrinka’s victory and predicted future success for a player who has operated in the shadow of the Big Four for so long.
“What a thrill for Wawrinka – and now he has won a Grand Slam and proven to himself that he can do it … why not another one?”
Watch the full analysis of the Australian Open final in the video above.