MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic has been upset in a dramatic five-setter against Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open quarterfinals, ending his 25-match winning streak at Melbourne Park.
Wawrinka had lost 14 straight head-to-heads to Djokovic before Tuesday night's 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 win in Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic held off Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set in a 5-hour, 2-minute fourth-rounder here last year — the longest Grand Slam match of the season — and also edged him in five sets in the U.S. Open semifinals in September.
This time, it was Wawrinka's turn. And he's into the semifinals at a major for just the second time.
"Uh, last year I finished it was really tough but this year I came back it was a new year," he said. "I tried everything. He's an amazing champion. He never gives up. I'm really, really, really, really, really, really happy."
This one took exactly four hours, and featured some stunning rallies. Both players were amazed at some of the shots coming back from the other side. The match even included a five-minute rain delay with Wawrinka serving at 5-5 in the fifth.
Djokovic frequently held up and pinched his thumb and forefinger together to show how close the shots were to either hitting or missing the lines.
Following after an early exchange of breaks in the fifth, Djokovic had to constantly serve to stay in the match and the pressure finally told.
After all the superb shot making, it was a mis-hit from Wawrinka on a service return that set up match point. Djokovic chased it to the net but skewed his cross court drop shot too wide. He missed a volley on match point, his first defeat since the U.S. Open loss to Rafael Nadal and ending a 28-match winning streak.
"He took his opportunities. He deserved his big win today," Djokovic said. "There's nothing I can say. I gave it my best, I gave it my all. It wasn't to be this time.
"He showed his mental strength and he deserved to win — the only thing I can say is congratulations."
Wawrinka will next play seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych, who also reached his first Australian Open semifinal when he beat No. 3-seeded David Ferrer 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
On the women's side, 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard reached the semifinals in her first trip to the Australian Open, beating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 to set up a showdown with two-time finalist Li Na.