Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2014 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka poses with his Australian Open trophy on the
banks of the Yarra River following his win over Spain's Rafael Nadal on Sunday
evening in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday. AP PHOTO
the Australian Open, some play-
ers have jumped for joy into the
Yarra River. Many pop cham-
pagne and indulge in late-night
celebrations. Most set new goals
and start thinking about the
Grand Slams they want to win
This was not the case for Stan
Wawrinka, who woke up yesterday
morning groggy but sober and still
stunned that he had beaten Rafael
Nadal to win his first Grand Slam
"I still don t completely realise
what s happened. It still feels like
a dream," Wawrinka told reporters,
squinting in the sunlight for the
winner s traditional day-after
photo shoot on the banks of the
river beside Melbourne Park.
Handed a bottle of champagne
and told to spray it in celebration,
he politely obliged and then put it
Wawrinka was and still is pes-
simistic about denting the dom-
inance of Roger Federer, Nadal,
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray
--- the so-called Big Four who
accounted for all but one of the
previous 35 major titles.
"I really never dreamed about
winning a Grand Slam," he said,
clutching his trophy. "I don t know
about doing it again. But I did it,
and no one can take it back."
The morning after the biggest
day of his career, Wawrinka was
more subdued than overjoyed. His
night went late but was tame.
There was no big dinner or any
food at all, no partying, just spend-
ing time with his team and having
a Skype session with his wife and
3-year-old daughter in Switzer-
land. Now, he says he s looking
forward to taking some time after
the Davis Cup next weekend to
reflect on "what happened" in
Here s what happened.
Wawrinka won his first Grand
Slam. On his way to the title, he
upset No 2-ranked Djokovic in the
quarterfinals and then beat No 1-
ranked Nadal in the final, despite
having never beaten either before.
He became the first man in 21 years
to beat the top two players before
winning a major.
As a result, Wawrinka rises to
a career-high ranking of No 3,
moving five spots up from No 8.
The 28-year-old becomes
Switzerland s highest-ranked player
for the first time in his career, over-
taking 17-time Grand Slam-winner
Federer, his friend and mentor,
who started the Australian Open
at No. 6 and was expected to drop
to No 8 despite reaching the semi-
"Everything that s happened is
quite crazy," Wawrinka said.
"When you re No 3 and you win
a Grand Slam, journalists expect
1. But I feel it s so far for me, so
far from my level. That s why it s
not my goal."
Relentlessly aggressive on the
court, Wawrinka gives the impres-
sion off-court that he doesn t want
to revel in his success for fear of
jinxing it. Occasionally, he allows
himself to be proud.
"Now I know I can beat every-
body. The big stage in a Grand
Slam doesn t matter," said
Wawrinka, but added that he s in
the same position as Juan Martin
del Potro, whose title at the 2009
US Open is the only one of the
past 35 majors not won by the Big
Four. "Since (del Potro) won the
US Open everybody wants him to
win another Grand Slam. But it s
not that simple."
He doesn t like to think too far
ahead, but indulged one question
about what it will be like to walk
through the halls of Rod Laver
Arena next year and see his picture
up on the walls with the other
"First thing I will do, I m going
to come back and take a picture
of myself," Wawrinka said. "Again
it s a dream. It s big. When I see
all those champions, for me,
they re the real champions. To be
there is just something crazy." (AP)
stunned he won
attract more tennis fans in Asia,
the WTA is moving its season-
ending championships from Istan-
bul to Singapore and will revamp
it into a 10-day event with music,
entertainment and tennis-related
"We re ultimately in the enter-
tainment business and trying to
broaden our reach," WTA Chairman
and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a
telephone interview ahead of yes-
terday s formal launch.
"We know that it s a great way
for us to expand our fan base."
The shift to Singapore from
2014-18 marks the first time the
event will take place in Asia.
It was well-timed to capitalise
on growing interest in women s
tennis in Asia, helped by Li Na s
emergence as a top player.
The Chinese player won her sec-
ond Grand Slam title over the week-
end at the Australian Open.
Last year the WTA held 10 events
in China, up from two in 2010.
Allaster said the tour was spend-
ing "300 percent more" on the
championships in Singapore than
in the past.
The event will be held from
October 17-26 at the Singapore
Sports Hub s 7,500-seat indoor sta-
dium, and prize money will be
increased by US$500,000 to US$6.5
million, staying in line with the
men s ATP finals.
The tournament invites the top
eight singles players and will go
from four to eight doubles teams.
The expansion from a six-day tour-
nament to 10 days will also accom-
modate juniors and legends events,
plus coaching and other industry-
It will start off with a weekend
of music and entertainment fol-
lowed by a week of tennis.
Allaster said it was too soon to
say which music acts would head-
line the event, but likened the inte-
gration of music and entertainment
into the sport to the halftime act
at the Super Bowl.
"The music act of the Super Bowl
has become the cornerstone of the
game," Allaster said. "By providing
a cool, happening must-attend
event with all these other experi-
ences, I know that s the way to help
us drive growth."
Singapore was chosen over the
other two finalists: Monterrey, Mex-
ico, and Tianjin, China. It will be
the ninth city to host the WTA
Championships following Boca
Raton, Florida; Los Angeles; Oak-
land, California; New York; Munich;
Madrid; Doha, Qatar; and Istanbul.
Singapore to host WTA
of Russia beat Francesca Schiavone
1-6, 6-4, 6-1 and Klara Zakopalova of
Czech Republic won 7-6 (4), 6-2
against wild-card entry Caroline Gar-
cia in the first round of the Open GDF
Pavlyuchenkova struggled at times
with her serve against Schiavone, mak-
ing six double-faults, but she also hit
four aces and broke the Italian veteran
five times. She next faces either sev-
enth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of
Spain or qualifier Johanna Larsson of
Sweden in the second round. They play
their match today.
Zakopalova, who dropped her serve
four times but broke her French oppo-
nent six times, will now play fourth-
seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany,
who leads their head-to-head record
win at Open GDF Suez
SAN DIEGO---Scott Stallings moved
out of a five-way tie for the lead by
shooting a birdie on the final hole on
Sunday to win the Farmers Insurance
Open in California.
Stallings hit a 4-iron with his second
shot on the par-5 18th, just clearing
the water, then took two putts from
40 feet for birdie and a four-under 68
at Torrey Pines.
He made six birdies over his last 11
holes, along with a pair of bogeys. Most
remarkable is that he managed to hit
only four fairways in the final round.
But one that he did was important; the
537-yard closing hole.
That was enough for a 9-under 279
and a one-shot victory when no one
could catch him.
It was the third career PGA Tour vic-
tory for Stallings, who earned a return
trip to the Masters and should move
high enough in the world ranking to
qualify for the Match Play Champi-
onship next month in Arizona.
KJ Choi had the best score of the
week on the South Course with a 66
and was among those who tied for sec-
ond. The pins were set up in favorable
positions for birdies, making the course
play the easiest it had all week.
But that was not quite easy enough
for Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth, Pat
Perez and so many others who squan-
dered a good chance to win.
Woodland appeared to have the best
chance to catch Stallings. He was one
shot behind---with plenty of length to
reach the 18th in two---but hooked his
drive badly at No. 17, and feeling he
needed to make his 45-foot par putt
to have any chance of winning, he
ended up going for too much and three-
putted for double bogey. (AP)
Stallings rallies to win at Torrey
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