Djokovic through to the Australian Open final after titanic battle with Wawrinka
The second semifinal of the Australian Open between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka was an absolute treat for all fans. The match was a repeat of last year’s quarterfinal, in terms of players, distance and entertainment. However this time it was Djokovic who got the better of his opponent in five sets, winning the match 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
Note: You can watch all the action live on Sony Liv Sports here.
A thrilling start sets the tone
Both players started the match on an aggressive note, holding their service games with relative ease. The crowd was treated to excellent rallies as both players looked to hit shots kissing the lines. Wawrinka managed to break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead.
He required some medical attention during the break though, and had to use eye drops. But the drops didn’t seem to have done the trick as Djokovic broke back in the very next game.
Surviving set points on serve, Wawrinka forced the match into a tiebreak but was swept aside by the World No. 1 who went on to take the first set 7-6 (7-1).
Wawrinka fights back in the second set
The second set began in similar fashion as the first. Wawrinka tried to power his way through with his ferocious single-handed backhand and kept edging closer to breaking the Djokovic serve. He managed to do so in the sixth game as Djokovic double faulted to hand the break to the Swiss.
Unlike the first set, Wawrinka managed to consolidate this time with a hold, and he enjoyed a healthy 5-2 lead. Djokovic managed to hold his serve but so did Wawrinka, who took the set 6-3 to level the match at one set apiece.
A rollercoaster third act brings the crowd to its feet
Much against the run of play, Wawrinka was broken early on in the fourth set as Djokovic raced to a 3-0 lead. The Swiss almost got broken once again but managed to hold on to avoid going down 0-4. That was exactly the kind of spark he needed to bring things back on level terms, as he then broke Djokovic to get right back into the set.
Both players then held their serve comfortably with the set seemingly destined to go towards another tiebreak. But at 4-5, Wawrinka missed out on a game point and made an unforgivable error on the forehand to practically gift-wrap Djokovic the third set.
Djokovic fails to capitalize on opportunities in the fourth
Djokovic missed out on an early opportunity in the fourth set. He had three break points but was unable to convert a single one as Wawrinka levelled the set at 1-1. The Serb was now making a few too many errors, while Wawrinka was beginning to find the range o his backhand.
At 3-3, Wawrinka was 0-40 up on the Djokovic serve, and he wasted no time as a Djokovic error handed Wawrinka the advantage. The reigning champion made the most of the break of serve to win the set 6-4 and take the match into a decided fifth set.
A one-sided fifth set dampens things a bit
Djokovic opened the fifth set on serve and managed to hold it with some difficulty. A break of serve and another hold gave Djokovic a 3-0 lead as fatigue started to get the better of Wawrinka. The Swiss looked deflated as he got broken once again, now trailing 0-4 with Djokovic to serve.
Djokovic broke Wawrinka’s serve for a third time to hand him a undeserving bagel and take the set and the match, bringing to an end the Swiss’ title defence.
The Serb will take on Andy Murray in Sunday’s final in what promises to be yet another gruelling five-set thriller.