Wawrinka Wins First Set Against Nadal at Australian Open 6-3

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka took the opening set in his Australian Open final with top seed Rafael Nadal as he attempts to win his first Grand Slam title.

Wawrinka used an ace out wide to take the set 6-3 after 37 minutes. The Spaniard had three break points in the final game but Wawrinka was able come back to hold.

Wawrinka, who has never beaten or even taken a set against Nadal in 12 previous meeting, got a break after 14 minutes, taking a 3-1 lead with a powerful forehand that the Spaniard couldn’t return.

Nadal, the top seed, is going for his 14th major title, which would tie him with retired American Pete Sampras. The 27-year-old missed last year’s Australian Open with a knee injury and won the title in 2009. He’s trying to become the first male player since tennis went professional in 1968 to win two titles at each of the four Grand Slams.

The Swiss player, seeded eighth, will pass compatriot Roger Federer in the rankings no matter the outcome of today’s match. Wawrinka, 28, will be at least ranked fifth on the men’s ATP Tennis Tour and could rise to third with a win. Federer, who has been the top-ranked player from the country since 2001, will drop to No. 8 in the world.

Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only men to win at least two titles at each of the four Grand Slams.

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