Novak Djokovic overcame an overall lackluster performance, and an onslaught from Stanislaw Wawrinka to prevail in a thrilling 5-set match, 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
It was a roller-coaster ride of a semifinal. Wawrinka, the still-but-perhaps-not-for-long Swiss No. 2 came out strong and broke Djokovic three times in the first set. He went up a break in the second, but Djokovic broke back, and sent the set into a tiebreak, which the world No. 1 snatched up. The Swiss took the third set on one break, and Djokovic the fourth via the same. Also in the fourth set, Wawrinka had a medical timeout for an injury to his upper-thigh, and did seem to be hampered the rest of the match.
The stakes were raised in the fifth set. At 1-1, with Wawrinka serving, they played a nearly 21-minute, 30-point game. It was taken to deuce 12 times, with Djokovic having five break chances. In the end, Wawrinka held, but it seemed to be all he had left. Djokovic broke at 2-2 and ran away with it.
After the match, Djokovic said: “I think it was obvious Stan played more aggressive; he played better tennis over all,” adding, “I was glad I was able to find my best tennis when I needed it.”
In the second semifinal of the day, Rafael Nadal beat Richard Gasquet with his B-Game, 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2. While Gasquet came up with some showy tennis at times, and Nadal was having trouble finding the lines, the best Gasquet can say is that he broke Nadal’s serve for the first time in the tournament.
The win assures Djokovic that he holds his No. 1 ranking for the time being, and sets up his 37th match with his rival Nadal — an Open Era record for most matches played. The Spaniard currently leads the head-to-head 21-15. They will play for the trophy on Monday.