However, Wawrinka claimed the first two sets, while Nadal struggled with a back complaint.
The Spaniard rallied to force a fourth set, but Wawrinka regained his composure to serve out to secure the first Grand Slam title of his career.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our text updates below.
8.33amMorning all. So, after two weeks of toil (and blisters in some cases) this year's Australian Open is about to draw to a close. Bringing the curtain down is a real David Goliath clash between Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka, with the winner getting their hands on the first Grand Slam trophy of 2014.
8.35amRight, the players are just about to make their way onto court, but there is still time to take a look at what both of them have been saying about this clash. Let's start with Nadal...
8.38am"I saw him play against Novak (Djokovic) and I saw him play against (Tomas) Berdych," said the world number one. "He's playing great. He's a good friend, great guy. So, happy for him that he's in the final. He deserves it. He's playing better and better every year.
"He's serving unbelievable. He's hitting the ball very strong from the baseline. If I am not able to play my best, I think I will not have chances because he's coming to this match with a lot of victories and playing great."
8.40amAnd now for Wawrinka: "I played him so many times, lost so many times, but I'm going to try again. I know what I have to do: I know that I have to play aggressive, serve really well, and try to always push him.
"His game is quite tough for me, especially with my one-handed backhand. But I did some good matches last year against him. I've found a few things that I will try. I'm playing my best tennis here, physically I'm ready. I had two days off, so that's perfect for me before the final. I'm going to try everything."
8.43amIt's obviously hard to look beyond Nadal winning a 14th Grand Slam title of his career, but then who predicted that Wawrinka would have seen off three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals?! It may sound like a cliche, but it is vitally important that the 28-year-old wins the first set here. If he doesn't, it would be an uphill task for him to overall Nadal with a one-set advantage.
8.45amBut how can he overcome someone of Nadal's quality? To stand any chance, he must be as positive as possible. He certainly has enough power from the back of the court to cause his opponent problems. The shorter that he can keep each point, the better as well. He does not want to get involved in lengthy rallies.
8.47amRight then - Wawrinka has the ball in hand and will serve first in this men's Australian Open final. Game on.
Nadal *0-1 WawrinkaThat's a good settling start for Wawrinka, who serves out to 15. He was positive there and kept each rally short. What's Nadal got in response?
Nadal 1-1* WawrinkaWell, that was emphatic. Nadal has really improved his first serve in recent years and that was out in force just now. Each one went wide and had plenty of kick, which Wawrinka could simply return straight to the Spaniard, who tucked away the next shot. One game apiece.
Nadal *1-2 WawrinkaIf Wawrinka is nervous out there, he's not showing it. We often talk about his backhand, but it was his forehand that guided him through that game. He's standing on the baseline and is refusing to drop any deeper at the moment. As a result, he's dictating the points on his serve and there is no sign of Nadal making any inroads just yet.
Nadal 1-3* WawrinkaBREAK! An awful start to the game for Nadal, who sees his miscued drop shot swiped away by Wawrinka for a 0-15 lead. Then, matters worsen when a double fault puts Wawrinka 15-30 in front. After that, the Swiss shows that he is prepared to meet fire with fire as he uses brute force to win the next two points to claim the match's first break. The crowd in Melbourne are in their feet. Big service game coming up now - he must hold.
Nadal *1-4 WawrinkaThe first ace of the contest puts Wawrinka 30-15 in front and that is quickly followed by another one. 'Big Stan' is brimming with confidence right now and Nadal has hardly had a look in. That's a brilliant game and one that he needed to hold. He's just two away from taking the first set, but there is still plenty of work to do.
Nadal 2-4* WawrinkaIs there a better backhand in the men's game than the one that Wawrinka possesses? The shot that he used to send a winner down the line to level up the score at 30 apiece would suggest that there isn't. He even gets a break point, but a wide serve from Nadal forces deuce. The Spaniard goes on to complete the job, but it's a real escape.
Nadal *2-5 WawrinkaFor the first part of that set it was like Wawrinka had Nadal on a piece of string out there. To go 40-0 up, he toyed with the Spaniard before powering a forehand down the line and beyond the reach of his flat-footed opponent. Nadal responds to win the next two points, before Wawrinka sees a ball long to maintain the break. Nevertheless, it's a reminder (not that he needed it) that Nadal is not going to give this set away - Wawrinka is going to have to win it.
Nadal 3-5* WawrinkaRoutine stuff from Nadal, who is making Wawrinka serve out for this set. Bare in mind, Wawrinka has never won a set against Nadal in 12 matches! Now would be a very good time to end that hoodoo.
Nadal 3-6 *0-0 WawrinkaSET! A powerful forehand down the line in response to Wawrinka's second serve puts Nadal 0-30 up and then a net call goes in his favour to bring up three break points. Huge credit to Wawrinka, though, as he claws back all three, despite struggling to land his first service in. He then wins the next two points, the last of which was an ace, to open up a one-set advantage in Melbourne. He's broken his duck against Nadal - can he win three sets?!
Nadal 3-6 0-1* WawrinkaBREAK! Some astute footwork from Wawrinka allows him to open up a 0-30 advantage at the start of this second set and then Nadal sends a return into the net, bringing up three break points for the Swiss player. What followed was perhaps the shot of the match as he stretches with his backhand to send a Nadal serve back past the Spaniard. Anything short is being put away by Wawrinka right now and he's in control. Nadal just needs to hang in there and wait for his chance, providing that Wawrinka gives him one!
Nadal 3-6 *0-2 WawrinkaNadal threatens to get back into this set when he reduces the arrears to 30-40, but an overhead volley from Wawrinka at the net secures the second game. Having broken, 'Big Stan' has held again. Nadal must get a game on the board this time around.
Nadal 3-6 1-2* WawrinkaNadal may have held, but it was no means a gimmie as Wawrinka forced deuce. However, the world number one has a big problem with his back, which forced him to slow his serve right down. He's now taken a medical time out off the court to receive treatment. This was not publicised before the clash, so we have no idea how serious this is.
9.44amWawrinka is not happy out there. He's having a row with the umpire and is demanding to know what is wrong with Nadal. The Swiss believes that he should be made aware as to why Nadal has left the court. He really cannot afford to lose his composure.
9.46amWawrinka is back on court as Nadal returns into the arena to some jeers from the supporters. Has that break hampered Wawrinka's momentum - we shall see. He serves leading 6-3 2-1.
Nadal 3-6 *1-3 WawrinkaThe answer is a big no as he serves out to love with a couple of aces thrown in for good measure. Nadal is struggling, though. He's just buried his head into his towel and looks to be in real pain. It will be interesting to see his service speed this time around.
Nadal 3-6 1-4* WawrinkaBREAK! This is not nice to watch. Nadal can barely run, yet alone serve. He's simply tossing the ball up and floating in a serve, which Wawrinka is having no trouble dispatching. It looked like a retirement was on the cards, but after a quick massage, he has returned to face the Wawrinka serve. He still has a grimace on his face, though.
Nadal 3-6 *1-5 WawrinkaTo Nadal's credit, he forced that game to deuce, but Wawrinka eventually powers a forehand down the line to open up a 5-1 lead. Nadal is still in agony out there, but is refusing to give up. You've got to admire that courage but he looks to be fighting a losing battle.
Nadal 3-6 2-5* WawrinkaNadal is putting everything that he has into his first shot of the rally after Wawrinka has returned his serve. It's not his game at all, but having survived three break points, he somehow wins through. He returns to his seat and buries his head into hands - he's almost in tears. This isn't nice to watch, but it doesn't look like he wants to retire.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 *0-0 WawrinkaSET! That's the second set for Wawrinka, who is having to show great concentration to keep going, despite the drama going on up the other end. For a moment it appeared that Nadal was heading to the net to concede, but he doesn't. He drops back on the floor and is receiving a rub down. Now he's back out and will serve to start this third set.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 1-0* WawrinkaHow is Nadal doing this?! Wawrinka appeared to be heading for a break when he opened up a 15-40 lead, but Nadal battled back to win the next four points to take the game. He may not have served any quicker there, but it did seem that the Spaniard was moving a little more freely. Let's hope so.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 *2-0 WawrinkaBREAK! It takes around 30 minutes for painkillers to kick in, so perhaps that is what is happening for Nadal. He's just broken, much to the delight of the crowd. It must be said, Wawrinka is starting to struggle now. He is beginning to miss shots that he was putting away when Nadal was fully fit.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 3-0* WawrinkaNadal is still serving at half-pace, but there is no doubt that he is moving easier out on the court. Wawrinka had break points at the start of this set, but now he finds himself 3-0 down. The Swiss needs to regain the composure that he showed earlier in the match.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 *3-1 WawrinkaHe's finally got himself a game on the board, but Wawrinka is still struggling out there. He needs to push the restart button to return to how he was playing around 30 or so minutes ago. As for Nadal, he seems to have a 'nothing to lose' attitude about his game, which makes him dangerous. He's playing an array of shots, wary that he cannot get involved in long exchanges.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 4-1* WawrinkaHe may have a sore back, but it's not hampering Nadal's forehand at all. From the baseline he just struck a game-winner with brute force, with Wawrinka on 15. The speed of his serve has also moved up a notch. All ominous signs for Wawrinka, who has lost a little bit of concentration.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 *4-2 WawrinkaBetter from Wawrinka, who rediscovered his range with the forehand stroke during that game. Now, can he capitalise on Nadal's back problem during the next service game?
Nadal 3-6 2-6 5-2* WawrinkaIt appeared that Wawrinka had Nadal on the ropes at 15-30, but yet more determination gets the Spaniard through as his opponent twice sends the ball long from deep. Wawrinka is so frustrated out there because he's up against an injured player who refuses to give in. Those with a lesser mentality would have surely retired by now.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 *5-3 WawrinkaIt's a love service game for Wawrinka, but you got the impression that Nadal was holding out there and saving every ounce of energy that he has to get him through this upcoming service game. If he wins it, he will force this final into a fourth set, which didn't look like likely 20 minutes ago.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 0-0* WawrinkaSET! Nadal fires into the tramline to hand Wawrinka two break points, but he sends one into the net and the other with his forehand wide, bringing up deuce in the process. The next rally ends when the Swiss goes far too long, giving Nadal set point, but he can do little to prevent Wawrinka's powerful forehand winner. He goes long again, though, and second time around Nadal makes no mistake. This is incredible really. By rights, Nadal shouldn't even be on the court, let alone preparing for a fourth set.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 *0-1 WawrinkaThe perfect opening game from Wawrinka, who for the first time in a while didn't try to complicate matters. He was positive and refused to let Nadal settle into any rally, just as he had done earlier in the contest. The result? A much needed love game for the Swiss.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 1-1* WawrinkaInjured or not, you've got to take your chances against Nadal and Wawrinka isn't doing that right now. He had two break points at 15-40 up, but once again the unforced errors crept in as Nadal clawed back to deuce. After that he was able to serve out to level up the fourth set at one game apiece. More chances bite the dust for Wawrinka, who is getting angry at himself.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 *1-2 WawrinkaWhat Wawrinka is doing well is serving now. He's barely giving Nadal a sniff and ends the game with a smart volley which was about at knee height. Nadal to serve again.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 2-2* WawrinkaWorryingly for Wawrinka, Nadal has got a lot more pace back on his serve. The Spaniard raced into a 40-0 lead and despite Wawrinka getting two points back, he then shot long to gift Nadal the game. It's fair to say Wawrinka is playing like someone with the weight of the world on his shoulders - he has something to lose now after all, whereas he went into this contest as the big underdog.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 *2-3 WawrinkaAgain, though, it's another straightforward hold for Wawrinka. Nadal gets one point on the board, but Wawrinka is dominant and goes on to open up a 3-2 lead. Can he regain his composure against the Nadal serve?
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 2-4* WawrinkaBREAK! That's the Wawrinka that started this match! He's picked up the pace from the baseline and dictated the majority of those rallies as he broke with Nadal on 15. The point that secured the break saw him play an unstoppable forehand down the line. He's now just two games away from his first ever Grand Slam title. It's a test of his nerves.
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 *3-4 WawrinkaBREAK! That was not the time to be broken to love, but that is the position that Wawrinka finds himself in. He was on the cusp of glory, but an error-strewn service performance resulted in Nadal claiming that break back at the first time of asking. The Spaniard didn't even have to produce anything special during that game, which will be the most frustrating factor for Wawrinka. Will he rue those errors?
Nadal 3-6 2-6 6-3 3-5* WawrinkaBREAK! Stunning work from Wawrinka, who produced two forehand strokes of real quality to secure the break. Now he will serve for the title with new balls as well. This is a real test of character, one of which he has never experienced before...
11.10amHe's done it! Fantastic from Wawrinka, who when the pressure was really on, served out to love. The record books won't show that Nadal had been hampered with a back injury, they will just say that Wawrinka is the third Swiss player in history to have won a Grand Slam title. He's understandably delighted.
11.12amIt means that 'Big Stan' is now the world's number three player! Who would have predicted that before the tournament got underway?!
11.16amBefore we leave, we will bring you what both players have to say in their speeches. Stay tuned.
11.20amAs the sponsors and organisers give their speeches, Nadal looks as though he is about to burst into tears. Shouldn't be long now until both say a few words.
11.24amNadal: "Many thanks to Stan, you really deserve this - many congratulations. Last year I couldn't be here and this year I tried, but it wasn't to be. To the crowd, it's been an emotional two weeks and I'm sorry to finish this way. I tried very hard. This year was one of the most emotional tournaments of my career. See you in 12 months."
11.28amWawrinka: "First of all I'm sorry Rafa and I hope your back is going to be okay. You're a good friend and it's always good to play against you. In one year a lot has happened and I'm not sure if I'm dreaming, we will see tomorrow morning! I'd like to thank my team, who have always helped me a lot.
11.29amThat is all we have time for from Melbourne. Thanks for joining us this morning and until next time, goodbye.