Nadal said he had not wanted to quit in a grand slam final. AFP PHOTO / GREG WOOD
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For the third time in five years, Rafa Nadal's Australian Open title hopes were ended by injury as he was beaten by Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in the final Sunday. Victory would have given the Spaniard a 14th grand slam title but as in 2010 and 2011, his body failed him and he was swept away in a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 defeat.The world No. 1 said that he first felt pain in the warm-up and he was then reduced to tears at the start of the second set but battled on because another injury-affected exit would have been a tough pill to swallow.Nadal captured the Melbourne major in 2009 but suffered a knee injury against Andy Murray in 2010 and a hamstring injury the following year scuppered his chances of winning a fourth successive grand slam title.Nadal said he had not wanted to quit in a grand slam final and that Wawrinka fully deserved his win.Nadal was loudly booed by the crowd when he returned from a lengthy medical time out early in the second set, with the fans failing to realize the severity of the injury.Nadal's uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, told reporters in French that at one stage, the world No. 1 said: "'It's over'.
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