Wawrinka topples Melbourne Park giant Djokovic
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A brilliant Stanislas Wawrinka ended Novak Djokovic's three-year reign at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, closing out a five-set classic at a heaving Rod Laver Arena to sensationally dump the Serb from the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Heartbroken by Djokovic in two five-set epics in Melbourne and the U.S. Open last year, the eighth-seeded Swiss played out of his skin to upset his grand slam nemesis 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7 in an exhilarating four hours.
Wawrinka stayed cool in a deciding set of unrelenting tension, sealing it when the former world number one pushed a shot wide on match point.
His triumph blew the tournament wide open, setting up a semi-final with Czech Tomas Berdych while snapping the Serb's 28-match winning streak.
"He's an amazing champion, he never gives up. I'm really, really, really happy," Wawrinka said in a courtside interview.
"I was really focused point after point. I had to stay aggressive, not to give up. I was tired, I was cramping a bit, I was nervous too. But now I'm going to have an ice bath for a very long time.
"Last year was really tough, this year it's a new year."
Wawrinka's bid to claim a maiden Melbourne Park semi-final appearance started nervously as he notched a trio of unforced errors to gift the Serb the opening break in the sixth game. Continued...