Just like their epic fourth round battle at this year’s Australian Open, today’s semi-final clash in New York between World no. 1 Novak Djokovic (Player Bio) and Stanislas Wawrinka (Player Bio) went to five sets. The Serb, who was leading the head-to-head score 12-2, opened the match with a hold to love, but his ninth-seeded rival replied with a four straight games run, including two breaks. Novak pegged one back, yet the Swiss number two broke him again before serving out the set in which only 36% of his first serves were on target.
In the set number two Wawrinka rescued three break points in a ten minute long fourth game to make it 2-2 and stole Nole’s serve next after the latter sent a forehand long. However, the Swiss was unable to finish the job and Djokovic broke back by 4-4 to eventually force a tie-break where he converted the second of his three set points. The following set was marked with unforced errors and nervous display from both sides. In the eighth game Wawrinka suddenly got in possession of a triple break point and took advantage of the first one after his opponent’s shot bounced back from the top of the net. Stan now prepared a set point after the longest rally of the match, lasting 35 shots, and moved 2-1 ahead.
Although not at his best today, the top ranked player responded immediately in the fourth set by consolidating a second game break to escape to 3-0. At 4-1 the Swiss took a medical break which did not disturb the favorite who squared things up after hitting his fifth ace of the day. The third game of the decider was a match on his own – Wawrinka threw in some massive winners to rescue five break points over the course of twenty minutes, interrupted by standing ovations by the crowd on Arthur Ashe, before finally going 2-1 up. Nevertheless, Djokovic started taking full control of the match as he confirmed a fifth game break for a 4-2 lead and did not give Wawrinka any chances to break back. The Serb soon created a triple match point and blasted an ace down the middle to squeeze into his fourth consecutive US Open final by winning 2-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. He lifted the trophy in 2011.
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