Defending champion Novak Djokovic was surprised by the performance of Stanislas Wawrinka, but still managed to win the epic battle. The world number one came back from 6-1 5-2 down to win 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 12-10 in an electrifying night session on Rod Laver Arena. The match came to an end at 1.41am when Djokovic shot a cross-court backhand past Wawrinka at the net.
Djokovic said, “It definitely ranks right at the top. One of the longest, most interesting, and most exciting matches I have played in my career… Even though I was 6-1 5-2 down, I believed that I can come back if I am two sets down. I’ve been in those situations before. I was just outplayed by my opponent. He was better on the court for the first hour and a half, no question about it.
“In these circumstances, when you’re not playing the way you want to play, you just try to fight and hope for the best.”
Four errors in a row allowed Djokovic back into the set and he did not waste the opportunity, a forehand winner giving him a second break soon after and with it the set.
The match was suddenly slipping away from Wawrinka, and Djokovic drove the point home by taking the third with a stunning rally that he dominated on the forehand.
Wawrinka said, “I think it’s by far the best match I’ve ever played, especially in five sets against the number one player.”
“Especially as I was dealing with myself all the five hours, trying to always find a solution, trying to always fight against myself and against him to stay with him… At the end I was really, really close. For sure I’m really sad. It’s a big disappointment to lose that match, but I think there are more positives than negatives.”