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Australia Open: Djokovic beats Wawrinka to set up final fling

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Australia Open: Djokovic beats Wawrinka to set up final fling

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Novak Djokovic ended the title defence of Stanislav Wawrinka in the semi-final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

While not reaching the heights of their previous encounters under the lights of the Rod Laver Arena, it was a five-set battle with a dramatic end when Djokovic eventually beat Wawrinka 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 to reach the final where he will play Britain’s Andy Murray.

The match featured 12 breaks of service and 118 unforced errors. Djokovic, the top seed, took the first set on a tie-breaker but double-faulted on break point to allow Wawrinka back into the game to clinch the second.

The Swiss player wilted and netted a forehand when serving at 4-5 on set point to gift Djokovic the third set. The Serb then raced into an early lead in the fourth but could not maintain the momentum as Wawrinka clawed his way back into the game to force a decider.

The defending champion crumbled in the final set as Djokovic brushed aside his challenge to set up the chance to become the first man in the open era to win five titles at Melbourne Park.