By Ann Liguori
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Top seed Novak Djokovic advanced to his fourth straight US Open final, prevailing in an incredible five set battle against Stan Wawrinka, 2-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted four hours and nine minutes.
Even though Djokovic won, the crowd was so impressed with Wawrinka’s effort and game, they gave him a well-deserved long-standing ovation after the match.
And during the third game in the fifth set that lasted 21 minutes and featured 30 points, went to 12 deuces before Wawrinka held serve there, BOTH players got a standing ovation!
Wawrinka started quickly, firing both forehand and backhand winners. Djokovic was slow to start but was able to take the second set seven points to four in a tie-breaker.
After dropping the third set, looking winded, Djokovic was able to win the fourth 6-3, force the fifth and then closed it out.
In the fourth set, Djokovic broke in the second game. Wawrinka, frustrated, slammed his racquet against the court, mangling it. Djokovic raced out to a 4-1 lead. In the fifth game change-over, Wawrinka took a medical time-out after sliding hard on the court. He had an issue with his upper right thigh. He came back out, dropped that set and then Djokovic turned it up a notch in the fifth.
The stats were wild: they each won 165 points. Djokovic had 38 winners and 46 unforced errors and Wawrinka smacked 57 winners with 69 unforced errors.
There was no way the Rafael Nadal–Richard Gasquet match was going to match the intensity and shot-making of the earlier semifinal. Nadal prevailed 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.
The men’s final on Monday evening between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal should be one for the ages. They will play each other for a record 37th time, most in the Open Era, passing the number of times Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe played each other.
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