Stan Wawrinka expressed his opinion about Rafael Nadal‘s record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month. The Swiss was all praise about Nadal’s remarkable feat and lavished praise on the Spaniard for his determination to come back even after being plagued by multiple injuries over the years and claimed that Nadal was in a league of his own.
Nadal was sidelined for the better half of last year after he had to undergo surgery to treat his chronic foot injury. The former World No.1 skipped the Wimbledon and the US Open as a result and failed to win a Grand Slam for the first time since 2016. He also was sidelined during his 2016 season with a wrist injury and couldn’t compete at the French Open, but bounced back in fashion by winning the Olympic Gold medal in Men’s Doubles at Rio. Wawrinka said that such injuries have happened numerous times, but Nadal always manages to make a comeback.
“Whatever happens we cannot compare Nadal with other tennis players, that’s for sure. Nadal has been out for four, five, or six months almost every two years of his career, and whether the injuries were serious or not, he always managed to come back. And once again at this stage and level, with the difficult last year that he had, of course, it’s exceptional, just like all his career,” Wawrinka said in a podcast with L’Equipe.
“I wasn’t surprised“- Wawrinka on Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open win
Wawrinka denied Nadal his 2nd Australian Open title when he defeated the Mallorcan in the finals in 2014, which was also the Swiss player’s first Grand Salm title. He also said that Nadal’s win at the Australian open was truly remarkable, but he wasn’t surprised that the Spaniard won. Because the 3-time Grand Slam champion felt Nadal is far superior to everyone else and has proved time and time again that he can do things that others aren’t capable of.
“It was brilliant to watch his win. I wasn’t surprised but I admire that he is still able to do it and as I say I am not surprised because we know that he is well above everyone else. He’s proved that he’s able to do things throughout his career that others can’t,” he said.
He also compared Nadal’s incredible comeback to Federer’s return in 2017. Roger Federer was making a comeback at the Australian Open in 2017 after a six-month injury layoff and was seeded 17th in Melbourne, but he had an astonishing run to clinch his 20th Grand Slam title by defeating Nadal in the final.
“Sometimes, I feel, tennis is all written in advance,” Stan Wawrinka said. “Before the Australian Open I was talking to my coach, Dani [Vallverdu] and we discussed that Nadal will win Australian Open because everything is written. We saw what happened to Nadal last year, a year full of injuries and it would have been impossible to say he will win Australian Open last year,” the Swiss added. “But his win is a bit similar to that Federer’s in 2017 and he has written history.”