‘He’s written history’ – Stan Wawrinka mesmerised by ‘incomparable’ Rafael Nadal’s historic 21st Slam win

Stan Wawrinka was left dumbfounded by Rafael Nadal winning a record 21st Grand Slam, saying “we cannot compare” him to other players and claiming “he is well above everyone else.”

Despite being ruled with a foot injury for five months prior to the Australian Open, Nadal shocked the world when he stormed to a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

Although Nadal was aided by the absences of both 20-time Slam champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, he still had to overcome a number of quality players en route to the title, including Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov.

Swiss maestro Federer has only recently began stepping up his recovery from a third knee surgery, whilst Serbian icon Djokovic was deported over fears he would generate anti-vaccine sentiment if he was allowed to compete unvaccinated.

In the final, Nadal was just a few games away from defeat against US Open victor and World number two, but he rallied from two sets behind to complete a remarkable comeback to make Grand Slam history.

Speaking L’Equipe’s Open Air podcast, three-time Slam ace Wawrinka said “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.

“Sometimes, I feel, tennis is all written in advance. Before Australian Open I was talking to my coach, Dani [Vallverdu] and we discussed that Nadal will win Australian Open, because everything is written,” the Swiss claimed.

“He was doubtful but he’s an exceptional champion. He has 21 Grand Slam, let’s see if others and Novak [Djokovic] will win more or not.

“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.

“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. But his win is a bit similar to that Federer’s in 2017 and he has written history,” Wawrinka ended.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.