Australian Open could end in an anti-climax with Spaniard star struggling.
Swiss eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka won the second set of the Australian Open 6-2 to lead 2-0 in the men’s singles final against Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
Top seed Nadal had a medical time out when 1-2 down in the set for a back problem and was struggling with his serve and movement around the court.
However, the Melbourne crowd did not endear themselves to many on social media, booing the Spaniard for seeking medial help, along with the Wawrinka who argued with the chair umpire.
— Bryan Robertson (@BryanRobertson1) January 26, 2014
Back spasms can settle in 15-20 min if nadal can last that long
— Dr Peter Larkins (@doclarkins) January 26, 2014
Nadal staved off a painful lower back injury to take the third set of the Australian Open men’s singles final.
Nadal, who needed repeated treatment during the second set as he went 2-0 down, recovered to win the third 6-3 and take the final into a fourth set.
The world number one was struggling badly during the second set but he started moving better in the third and was hitting shots past Wawrinka, who appeared unsettled by the turn of events.
Nadal entered as the hot favourite in his 19th Grand Slam final against eighth seed Wawrinka, 28, who is contesting his first major title match.
The Spaniard has previously been plagued by injuries at the season’s first Grand Slam. He missed the 2006 and 2013 editions, and had to retire injured in 2010 while playing Andy Murray.
Nadal was also hit by a leg muscle strain in his 2011 quarter-final loss at Melbourne Park to David Ferrer.