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Editorial: Maybe a bit of a joke due to the "stunned" threads that popped up but maybe I think it's time to join in the fun in what I think is a real stunner knowing what has transpired and it's impact at the game.

Australian Open 2014. Nadal was just coming back from one his most successful seasons in 2013, winning in Doha 2014 in the warm-ups. Stan, who while did have a great breakthrough in the year before, still isn't a name you think you would associate even as a dark horse on winning a Slam -- we have Del Po, Berdych, Tsonga and Ferrer for that. Nadal's form was great throughout if not excellent, losing around 1 Set I think until the Final. Stan, meanwhile is doing his business, with a seemingly powerful forehand, aggressive approach that may be the extra something to finally beat Djokovic when they possibly meet at the Quarterfinals. Djokovic just hired a new coach in Becker, which is to support him mentally, add a bit of S&V in his game, and try to get to that next step of improvement.

Quarterfinals came and Stan started slowly, losing the 1st Set quite easily against Djokovic. However, a sudden burst of energy and drive had fueled Stan and managed to get the crucial points in the 2nd Set. He carried the momentum at the 3rd but lost the 4th. Another 5-Setter in cards, with Stan seemingly showing now that he will not lose. It was Djokovic who faltered, giving an MP in a bad volley, with Stan finally having the tables turned from the heatrbreak of last year. A clutch performance in the SF against Berdych, and finally the big test: could he beat Nadal, a person previously won't even lose a Set against him? But Stan was somehow ready for the test, as he won the 1st Set quite well and tried to push himself closer to the win.

And he did it. A non-Big Four member won a Slam again. And it was not a consistent Top 10er like Del Po, Berdych, Ferrer and Tsonga who thought to be the ones who could've won without Four, but it was Stan who did it. It was probably one of the most shocking results, as Djokovic was practically invincible at the AO and while Stan did push Djokovic very close the year before, I think a few thought he would actually defeat him. Nadal meanwhile has practically didn't give Stan any hope of winning due their history together. But Stan defied the odds and won against the #1 and #2 seeds, and doing the what was seen was improbable for 5 years now -- a non-Big Four winning a Slam again.

The performance of FH and BH and most of all mentality and belief was great and after last year it looked like a scripted story how he managed to show he has grown since that match. It has shown that it is still possible to win and that there is still hope to breakthrough even when you're this late of age. It has shown that the Big Four are not entirely invincible, that other players could do that too as seen with Tsonga in Toronto, and Cilic and Nishikori in the USO. It has shown (and some changes from other players too) that right coaches could be the key to bigger success.

It was a great run and probably rattled the tennis order just a bit and I think is one of the most interesting stories of tennis.
 

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I would have thought Nadal would have recovered if not for the spasms. Nadal was in pretty vintage form in the Open, but got some fair testing from Nishikori and Dimitrov on the way, needless to say, so was Stan, who also benefitted from some walkovers and retirements before meeting Djokovic. For Nadal, looking back, that was probably one of the last times (aside from FO) where he played like he normally does with that aura of invincibility.

For Stan the win did increase his confidence exponentially against top players.
 
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