Stanislas Wawrinka
Wawrinka prevailed in four sets against an injured Nadal.

Stanislas Wawrinka shocked an injured Rafael Nadal in four sets to claim his first grand slam title in a drama filled Australian Open final in Melbourne.

Wawrinka prevailed 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in his maiden major final to defeat Nadal, who was hampered by a back injury for long periods but had threatened a comeback after claiming the third set.

But Wawrinka stood firm and moved to world No.3 and displaced Roger Federer as the Swiss No.1 with a typically booming forehand which had defined his performance as he became the first man to win claim a slam having beaten the No.1 and No.2 seeds.

"I still don't know whether I'm dreaming or not," Wawrinka said.

"I am very happy for you," Nadal added. "Luck was against me today but congratulations. Thank you for everyone supporting me. Sorry to finish this way.

"I tried very, very hard. Last year was very tough when I didn't have the chance to be playing here. This year was one of the most emotional tournaments in my career."

In his first major final Wawrinka could have been forgiven for showing signs of nerves in the opening exchanges against Nadal, in his 19th grand slam final, but after holding in his first two service games the Swiss clinched the all-important first break as he showed early signs of his ferocious backhand power.

Though Nadal prevented going down a double break with a clinical serve, Wawrinka came out at 5-3 to serve for a one-set lead and despite the Majorcan-born player having three break chances, five successive points from the world No.8 secured his first ever set against the 13-time major champion.

Wawrinka secured a break early in the second set but as Nadal held serve for the first time, he left the court to take a medical timeout after appearing to suffer from a back spasm.

The break left Wawrinka furious with the interruption and upon Nadal's belated return, the Rod Laver Arena crowd sought to boo the 2009 champion.

But accusations the world No.1 was using the interruption in order to alter the momentum of the match were stifled as Nadal served gingerly and was unable to move effectively during rallies.

Nadal was clearly emotional during points and changeovers as Wawrinka closed in on a two-set lead and while he missed three chances on the Spaniard's serve, he grabbed that advantage with an ace.

Wawrinka missed the chance to lay one hand on the title with a missed break-point chance at the start of the third set and he was made to pay as Nadal stormed into a 3-0 lead as his agility improved.

The mentally unhinged Wawrinka failed to settle his demons in the remainder of the third set, which Nadal took after a netted forehand, prior to receiving further attention on his troublesome back.

A break in the sixth game of the fourth set appeared to put Wawrinka on the brink after a stunning forehand pass but Nadal broke back as his physical condition continued to pick up.

But a third break in a row allowed Wawrinka to serve for the match, clinching the title with a passing forehand to win his first major crown.