In the third, Nadal, receiving mini-massages during changeovers, worked his way back thanks in part to Wawrinka's failure to move him around and not attempting so much as a single drop shot. Wawrinka muttered to himself while Nadal was able to end points quickly and efficiently.
"I had to stay calm with myself just to try to stay aggressive because he was injured, but he was still trying," Wawrinka said. "[It] was not easy. I start to be really nervous because I start to realize that I could win a Grand Slam. So it wasn't easy. But at the end, I just came back to the game and focus on what I want to do."
After the two traded service breaks in the sixth and seventh games of the final set, the crowd sensed a five-setter. But Wawrinka had other ideas. He broke again in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and closed out the unlikely championship with the same crisp groundstrokes he used to dominate the first set.
"He was playing amazing," Nadal said. "[It] is very tough to stop him when he's playing that way. [You have to] just congratulate him because he's playing better and better and he's playing with amazing confidence, hitting every ball very, very hard, moving great.
"On a court like this one, [with] the bounces a little bit lower and quicker than usual, [it] is very difficult to stop him."
Wawrinka gained perhaps the most attention these past two weeks for the tattoo on his left forearm, a quote by Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
"I had that quote in my head for a long time," Wawrinka said. "It was part of my life, how I see life, and especially how I see the tennis life. Before today, I always said that, except Roger, Rafa, Novak, you always lose -- so it's not easy because tennis life, when you lose, it's tough to get through and to take a positive from a loss, from failing from a tournament.
"That's how I see my career. I always go back to the court. I always go back to practice to try to improve myself and to give me all the chance to beat the best players in the world."