Boris Becker has paid tribute to Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, after he claimed his first Grand Slam title following a straight sets victory over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne last week.
The 28-year-old Swiss star became the first man outside the 'big four' of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to win a major since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009, and only the second to win one of the sport's major trophies since Marat Safin at the same tournament in 2005.
Wawrinka overcame Becker's current protege in a stunning five-set quarter-final clash, ending Djokovic's 28-match winning streak - a 25-match run at the Australian Open - and 14 consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances.
"I felt throughout the tournament that Stanislav Wawrinka was a serious threat and unfortunately I was right," Becker told GiveMeSport.
"He not only played an extremely good match against Novak, he played a great semi-final and an unbelievable final. He kept the pressure on Nadal with his powerful groundstrokes and very deservingly won the trophy."
Wawrinka's success last week takes him past 17-time major winner Federer to become Switzerland's number one for the first time.
His win over Djokovic also represented the first time since 2006 that he's beaten the Serbian, and made up for previous five-set defeats at last year's Australian and US Opens.
Becker is confident the world number two will bounce back from his first defeat since he was appointed as the 26-year-old's head coach in December, and looking ahead to the rest of the season, picked out a number of competitors that could rival Djokovic for major honours in 2014.
"Well unfortunately in tennis the next opponent is always the toughest one," the German added. "But going by the world rankings, you gotta mention Nadal, you gotta mention Federer, you gotta mention Murray and you know, Stanislav Wawrinka is on the list, all of a sudden, as well!
"But all of the players in the top ten are serious threats: Del Potro, Burdych, Ferrrer - they are serious threats to anybody including Novak."
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