Rafa backed off at Australian Open

It was meant to be his 14th Grand Slam title. It was meant to give him the distinction of having won all the majors twice. It was meant to start off a year of majors in amazing way. Instead, Rafa Nadal had to settle for a runner-up finish at the Australian Open. Today in Melbourne, Nadal lost in four sets to Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Nadal's back seemed to give him trouble from the very beginning, even so much that he was forced to take a medical time out. It didn't help, and Nadal never had a chance. Reports said Nadal's usually rocket-fueled serve had fallen to 75mph by the third set.


Nadal after beating Roger Federer in the semifinals

Nadal has played in 19 majors final matches. This was only the sixth time one of those ended in defeat for the Spaniard.

Nadal remained gracious in defeat. According to reports, Nadal said, ""Stan, he really ... deserved to win that title. I'm happy for him."

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Rafa Nadal