Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Stan Masterplan Succeeds in Dethroning Champion

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Stan Masterplan Succeeds in Dethroning Champion

Article excerpt

Byline: Eleanor Crooks

STANISLAS Wawrinka turned the tables on Novak Djokovic in spectacular fashion to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Twelve months ago Wawrinka pushed Djokovic all the way to 12-10 in the fifth set in the fourth round in Melbourne and then lost a similar match in the semi-finals of the US Open.

But, after 14 consecutive defeats by the Serbian, Wawrinka triumphed 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7 to bring Djokovic's run of 25 consecutive wins at the tournament and 28 overall to a juddering halt.

The result also ended the threetime defending champion's run of 14 consecutive grand slam semi-finals, protecting the incredible mark of 23 set by Wawrinka's Swiss countryman Roger Federer.

Wawrinka said: "Last year I took a lot of confidence from those matches with Novak. I was really close. I was playing good. We always have some great battles.

"I came on the court tonight with a lot of confidence in myself, knowing that if I play my best game, I always have a chance against him.

"He's so tough to beat. He's an amazing champion. He's always fights. He's always finds a solution.

"In the fourth set I think I was playing good and he won that set. So it was not easy to deal with that in the fifth set, especially against him.

"Last time he always found the solution against me in the fifth set.

He was the better player. But not tonight."

The much-anticipated rematch looked set to be an anticlimax when Djokovic raced through the first set but Wawrinka regrouped and began to rip his one-handed backhand.

Suddenly the eighth seed was two sets to one up and it was Djokovic having to dig deep.

He did just that to level the match but he let an early break in the decider slip away and, after four hours, it was Wawrinka who took his first match point. …

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