1/20/13 7:25 PM | Cheryl Murray
Defending Novak Djokovic had all he could handle at the hands of No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who took him to five grueling sets.
Chalk up another epic Australian Open win for Novak Djokovic. Last year, the Serb played nearly six hours in the title match, which he won over rival Rafael Nadal.
This time, the test came a bit earlier in the tournament. Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka came out of nowhere to push Djokovic to the limit, with the Serb just pulling out the win at 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10.
Djokovic started the match in abysmal form. Wawrinka completely dominated his opponent throughout the first set, leaving the defending champ just one game to show for his efforts.
Wawrinka continued his dominance into the second set, taking a commanding 5-2 lead before Djokovic found his footing. The world No. 1 earned the break back and secured a second break of serve to take the set out from under Wawrinka.
Djokovic carried the winning momentum into the third set, where he started to display the sort of tennis that has won him the title three times.
But Wawrinka wasn't finished. The Swiss managed to hang with Djokovic long enough to force a tiebreaker. The no. 15 seed got off to a strong start with a pair of mini-breaks and held on long enough to level the match at two sets each.
The fifth set featured some of the best tennis of the tournament so far. Amidst visits from the trainer and fatigue the two men battled through 22 games before Djokovic finally converted his third match point.
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