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Best offbeat photos from Aussie Open

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Little got in the way of Dominika Cibulkova’s run to the final. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

As we bid farewell to the 2014 Australian Open, we look back on the kookier moments of the tournament. A maniacally ecstatic Jerzy Janowicz, the birth of Novak Djokovic and the always fabulous Fabio Fognini head our list of the best offbeat photos.

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Rafael Nadal: Maybe that’s why he’s always picking at his shorts. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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  • Published On Jan 30, 2014
  • Best quotes from the Australian Open

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    Li Na

    Li Na was a hit both on the court and in the interview room. (Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

    Here are some of our favorite quotes from the Australian Open …

    • Before the tournament, Stanislas Wawrinka wasn’t exactly backing his chances of winning. “I’m not thinking I’m winning a Grand Slam. I’m too far away. I’m trying to improve my game. I’m trying to control what I can. That means the practice. That means my schedule, always to try to improve, to be a better player. The rest — we’ll see. I know I can win more matches. I know that I can play and beat the best players in the world. But it doesn’t mean that I will do it.”

    • But he did. And Wawrinka was at a loss to explain it. “I still think that I’m dreaming. It’s strange feeling. … I never expect to play a final. I never expect to win a Grand Slam. And right now I just did it.”

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2014
  • Report Card: Grading the Aussie Open

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    Li Na won the Australian Open final 7-6 (3), 6-0 over Dominika Cibulkova. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    Li Na took advantage of a favorable draw to win her second Grand Slam title. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    The Report Card hands out grades for the week in tennis. Here’s our review of the Australian Open.

    Stanislas Wawrinka: A-plus. The 28-year-old Swiss relied on an electrifying power game to win his first Grand Slam title and become the first player to defeat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the same major. Yes, Djokovic and Nadal weren’t at their best, but how many times have they played a subpar match and come out on top? Wawrinka snapped a 14-match losing streak to Djokovic and a 12-match skid to Nadal in which he had lost all 26 sets. Much like women’s champion Li Na, Wawrinka’s self-belief carried him to the title and a career-high ranking of No. 3.

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2014
  • Photos: Stanislas Wawrinka shows off his new Australian Open trophy

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    Stanislas Wawrinka poses with his Australian Open trophy near the Yarra River in Melbourne. (Rick Rycroft/AP)

    Stanislas Wawrinka is already back in Switzerland to try and recuperate and recover for Switzerland’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Serbia, but before he left, he enjoyed some quality time with his brand now Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, awarded to the winner of the Australian Open. Wawrinka defeated No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the final to capture his first Slam title and rose to a career-high No. 3 in the ATP rankings.

    More photos from Wawrinka’s champion’s photo shoot below:

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  • Published On Jan 29, 2014
  • Go Figure: Aussie Open by the numbers

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    Stanislas Wawrinka

    Stanislas Wawrinka became the first No. 8 seed to win a Grand Slam title since 1980. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    With the Australian Open in the books, here’s a look at some of the numbers that defined the tournament.

    1: Countries with multiple active men’s Grand Slam singles winners. Switzerland has Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, the only two Swiss men to win majors.

    2: Titles this season for Wawrinka, a career high. He won the Chennai Open before the Australian Open.

    4: WTA players who have saved match point on their way to the Australian Open title in the Open era. Li Na, who saved a match point in her third-round match against Lucie Safarova, joined Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams.

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  • Published On Jan 28, 2014
  • Li Na hungry for more after finally winning Australian Open

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    Li Na

    Li Na struggled with her forehand early in the final, but she settled down to beat Dominika Cibulkova. (Mal Fairclough/AFP/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Tough. That’s the word Li Na used to describe her Australian Open, where she won her second Grand Slam title.

    It was a surprising word choice, given her good luck at the first major tournament of the year. Ana Ivanovic’s upset of No. 1 Serena Williams paved the way to the final for Li, who had been in line to face Williams in the semifinals. The upsets of two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka and No. 3 Maria Sharapova on the other side of the draw didn’t hurt, either. Then there was a third-round escape against Lucie Safarova, who came within “five centimeters” of sending Li home. All told, the fourth-seeded Li didn’t have to beat a top-20 player in order to become the first Asian player to win the Australian Open.

    WERTHEIM: The significance of Li’s title

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  • Published On Jan 27, 2014
  • Best photos from Stanislas Wawrinka’s Australian Open victory

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    Win or lose, Wawrinka will be the No. 1 Swiss on Monday. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    Only Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and now Stanislas Wawrinka have beaten Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam final. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Stanislas Wawrinka became just the third man to beat Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam final, snapping his 12-match losing streak to the Spaniard to win 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open men’s final. Wawrinka will rise to No. 3 on Monday, taking over the position as the Swiss No. 1 from Roger Federer after becoming the first man since Juan Martin del Potro to snag a Slam title from the ATP’s Big Four. Nadal said after the match that he felt back pain during his pre-match warm up and the injury grew worse as the match progressed.

    “[This] is not the moment to talk a lot about the back,” Nadal said, shutting down questions about the extent of the injury. “It’s Stan’s day, not my day. As I say before, I try my best and was not possible for me today. I’m obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened. But that’s life, that’s sport.”

    Wawrinka was still in shock after the win and admitted that he would need time to process just what he’s done. “There’s a big chance I get drunk tonight,” he said after the match. Well if there was ever a time to do it, it would be after your first Slam win.

    Here are some of our favorite photos from the men’s final:

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  • Published On Jan 26, 2014
  • Highlights from Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Rafael Nadal Australian Open final

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    Stanislas Wawrinka is the first player to beat the top two seeds at a Grand Slam in 20 years. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Stanislas Wawrinka is the first player to beat the top two seeds at a Grand Slam in 20 years. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Stanislas the Swiss Stunner. Or you can just call him “Stanimal.”

    Stanislas Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to win the Australian Open on Sunday, delivering his first Grand Slam title in his first major final at age 28.

    Is there a new King of Switzerland? Wawrinka will rise to a career-best No. 3 on Monday, replacing Roger Federer (who drops to No. 8) as the new Swiss No. 1

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  • Published On Jan 26, 2014
  • Stanislas Wawrinka stuns an injured Rafael Nadal to win Australian Open

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    Stanislas Wawrinka becomes the first men's player outside of the Big Four to win a Grand Slam since 2009. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Stanislas Wawrinka becomes the first men’s player outside of the Big Four to win a Grand Slam title since 2009. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka upset No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open final on Sunday to win his first Grand Slam title.

    Playing his first major final, Wawrinka blew past Nadal in the first set behind a barrage of offense. Winning a set alone was a breakthrough for Wawrinka, who had been 0-for-26 in 12 previous meetings against the 13-time Grand Slam champion. The 28-year-old Swiss then held his nerve after Nadal struggled with a back injury early in the second set that led to an off-the-court medical timeout and additional treatment the rest of the match.

    Nadal said he felt discomfort in his back during the warmup.

    “I’m obviously disappointed and very sad about what happened,” Nadal said. “But that’s life, that’s sport. I’ve really had a lot of great moments in my career. That’s a tough one. Just accept it and try to keep working hard for what’s coming.”

    Wawrinka, 28, became the first player to beat both Nadal and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam and the first player to topple the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds at a Slam since Sergi Bruguera accomplished the feat at the 1993 French Open. He also delayed Nadal’s quest to become the first man in the Open Era to win each Slam twice. Wawrinka will rise to a career-high No. 3 on Monday.

    “It’s quite crazy what’s happening right now,” Wawrinka said. “I never expected to win a Grand Slam. I never dreamed about that because, for me, I was not good enough to beat those [top] guys.”

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  • Published On Jan 26, 2014
  • Photos: Li Na’s Australian Open trophy shoot photobombed by beach-goers

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    Li Na poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the Australia Open. (Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Want to party like a Grand Slam champion? Be prepared for your 9:30 a.m. photo call. A little more than 12 hours after she became the first Asian player to win the Australian Open, China’s Li Na was barefoot on the beach in Brighton for her champion’s photoshoot with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.

    And she was joined by a little friend who happened to be out for her own morning swim:

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  • Published On Jan 26, 2014


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