li na of china beat dominika cibulkova of slovakia, 7-6, 6-0 on saturday to win the 2014 australian open women's singles title. she turns 32 next month, and became the oldest female champion down under in the open era. this was her third australian open final in four years, losing to kim clisters in 2011 and victoria azarenka last year.
li never faced a top 20 opponent en route to the final. she defeated the two youngest players in the tournament, and saved a match point in the third round against lucie safarova. in the semifinals she beat the upstart canadian, 19 year-old eugenie bouchard. afterwards, she immediately went into the stands to thank her coach, carlos rodriguez. "finally i got her...last two times was very close," she said, upon lifting the daphne akhurst trophy with joy.
cibulkova, at 5'3, is the first slovakian female to reach a major final. she beat four seeded players, including former champion maria sharapova in the third round and defending champion azarenka in the quarterfinals. the 20th seeded cibulkova was a crowd favorite with her energy, grit and smile. she will jump 11 places from #24 to #13 in the wta rankings on monday. li na will move up to #3.
stanislaw wawrinka of switzerland upset world #1 rafael nadal of spain 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 on sunday to win the 2014 australian open men's singles title. wawrinka claimed his first ever major singles win in his first ever major final. the 28 year-old wawrinka had never taken a set off the charismatic nadal in their 12 previous meetings.
wawrinka became the first man in 21 years to beat the #1 and #2 players en route to a major title. he beat novak djokovic of serbia in five sets in four hours in the quarterfinals, ending a run of 14 consecutive losses to him. wawrinka moves from #8 to #3 in the new rankings, surpassing - for the first time in his career - his countryman, doubles partner and good friend roger federer, who lost to nadal in the semifinals.
nadal became visibly injured early in the second set and fought gallantly until wawrinka delivered a blistering forehand winner on match point. during the trophy ceremony, wawrinka said, "rafa, i'm really sorry for you, i hope your back is going to be fine, you're a really great guy, good friend and amazing champion." 34 of the last 35 majors went to federer, nadal, djokovic and andy murray.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.