Djokovic outlasts Wawrinka in 5-set thriller
Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Novak Djokovic is heading to his fourth consecutive U.S. Open final after surviving a marathon against Stanislas Wawrinka.
The top-seeded Djokovic rallied for a 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in the first of Saturday's two semifinals at Ashe Stadium. The match lasted four hours and nine minutes.
Djokovic, the 2011 champion, will play either Rafael Nadal or Richard Gasquet in Monday's final.
Djokovic was broken three times and committed four double faults and 14 unforced errors in a forgettable opening set for the Serbian, who had been broken just five times entering the semifinals.
The ninth-seeded Wawrinka consolidated a fourth break with a relatively easy hold to go up 4-2 in the second set, but Djokovic broke back in the eighth game to level the set before prevailing in a tiebreak.
The combatants remained on serve in the third set until a Djokovic forehand into the net gave Wawrinka a break at love and a 5-3 lead. The 28-year-old Swiss, playing in his first Grand Slam semifinal, then held to close out the set, but Djokovic earned a break on a double fault while racing out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, which ended with a Djokovic ace.
The third game of the fifth set a story all by itself. It featured 12 deuces and Wawrinka wound up holding for a 2-1 lead after saving five break points.
Djokovic was able to break Wawrinka's serve in the sixth game to go up 4-2, and the six-time Grand Slam champion finished things off with a hold.
The two are no strangers to playing long matches against each other. Djokovic needed five hours and two minutes to post a five-set victory over Wawrinka in the fourth round of this year's Australian Open.
Djokovic improved his record in the head-to-head series to 13-2 with his 12th straight win over Wawrinka, who remains winless in 13 lifetime meetings against the world's top player. Djokovic retained his No. 1 ranking by reaching the final.
09/07 17:12:17 ET