Melbourne, Australia (4E Sports) – Stanislas Wawrinka ended Novak Djokovic’s three-year reign with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 victory to reach his first Australian Open semifinal Tuesday.
The Swiss reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open last year, but was beaten in five sets by Djokovic. He had also fallen to the Serb 12-10 in the fifth set of their Australian Open fourth-round clash 12 months ago.
However, Wawrinka broke the Serb in the final game to clinch victory in four hours, joining Roger Federer as the only two Swiss men to reach multiple Grand Slam semifinals.
“I’m really happy. I’m excited,” said Wawrinka. “It was more or less the same feeling as during the match last year. The beginning was not that easy, but then I started to play really well. It was important to stay with me.”
Djokovic suffered his first loss since the US Open final, when he was beaten by Rafael Nadal. The right-hander had gone on to win 28 matches in a row, lifting trophies in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
“He served extremely well from the beginning to the end,” said Djokovic. “Every time he was in trouble, he was coming up with big serves. He took his opportunities. He deserved this win today. I congratulate him absolutely. There is nothing I can say. I gave it my best.”
Wawrinka will go for his first Grand Slam final against Tomas Berdych, who defeated World No. 3 David Ferrer, 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Berdych is the 23rd man in the Open Era to reach the semifinals at all four majors and the second Czech after Ivan Lendl. He equals the record for most Australian Open appearances before reaching the semi-finals, joining Colin Dibley and Mark Woodforde, who also accomplished the feat on their 11th visit.
On the women’s side, Eugenie Bouchard edged 14th seed Ana Ivanovic, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, to become the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in almost 30 years.
Bouchard, who had 47 winners, is the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Carling Bassett-Seguso at the 1984 US Open.
Bouchard will try to become the first Canadian to reach Grand Slam final when she goes up against fourth seed Li Na.