Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


On paper, without context, Novak Djokovic’s upcoming semifinal clash with defending Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka might not seem like reason enough to order an XL tub of buttered popcorn while clearing the schedule in case of a sleepless evening. But given that their last three Grand Slam battles have each been epics in their own right, the tennis world is currently rippling with excitement about Friday night’s main event in Melbourne.

Djokovic’s 16-3 lifetime advantage over the Swiss, and the fact that he has won 16 of 17 against Wawrinka go out the window when one considers the intensity and thin margin of victory of their last three battles on the Grand Slam stage.

The insta-classic goodness started with their round of 16 clash at the 2013 Australian Open, when three time champion Djokovic nearly saw his 17-match Australian Open winning streak demolished by a surprisingly punchy Wawrinka (see video above). Djokovic would edge Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set on that wild night, playing one of the best match points of all-time, but the seeds were planted for future blockbusters.

In 2013 (see video below), Djokovic again edged Wawrinka for his 12th consecutive win against the Swiss, but not before the New York crowd gave both players a minute-long standing ovation for some of the finest tennis that either has ever played.

In 2014 Wawrinka—dubbed "the Stanimal" by then, would finally have his day. He took out Djokovic 9-7 in the fifth set after a four-hour quarterfinal battle that spring-boarded Wawrinka to his first major title.

What can we expect from Friday night’s battle? Well, if their form is any indication, another knock-down, drag-out battle seems very plausible. One thing is for certain: We aren’t the only ones who will be going back to look at the video tape before the semifinal.

“I haven't watched [last year’s match],” said Djokovic after his quarterfinal win over Milos Raonic, “but probably now is the time. I will not watch the last point of that match (smiling). Everything else is fine. Again, of course you need to do a video analysis. You need to get yourself in the right state of mind for the matches like this, because this is now semifinals of a Grand Slam and you're playing a top player. There is no going back now. It's the time to perform the best you can.”