New York, Sep 8 (IANS) World No.1 Novak Djokovic survived a five-set battle to outclass Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday, reaching his fourth straight US Open tennis final.
"That's what we live for, what we practise for," said the Serbian about the epic 249-minute match against the ninth-seeded Swiss, reports Xinhua.
"I gave everything of my own," said the 28-year-old Wawrinka, who won respect in his Grand Slam semifinal debut.
It wasn't the longest match between the two players. They had played each other in the Australian Open and Djokovic also won in five sets.
That match was played for 302 minutes, 53 minute longer than Saturday's match.
"I think that is completely different match than the match we played in the Australian Open. In the Australian Open, I had to play my best game to stay with him," Wawrinka said.
The first set was a surprising one, in which the ninth seed finished three breaks to win 6-2.
Wawrinka took his good form into the second set, breaking the 26-year-old Serbian to lead 4-2 in the second set.
Djokovic refused to give up, winning the next three games to take back the lead 5-4.
Both players kept the serve until the tiebreak, in which Wawrinka made a key double fault to lose 7-4.
The third set went smoothly in the first seven games, and Wawrinka managed to break afterwards, holding serve to take a 2-1 lead.
Djokovic took back a set by 6-3, taking the match into the decisive fifth set. The 21-minute game took place after 1-1.A
Wawrinka's service game produced as many as 12 deuces. The World No.10 saved five break points to hold his serve, giving himself a 2-1 lead.
"Wawrinka was a better player for most of the better part of the match because he was aggressive and played better tennis," said Djokovic about the game.
"Other hand, me, I just tried to hang on and fight and be mentally tough and believe all the way though I can actually win."
However, Wawrinka felt more difficult to keep his next serve, dropping the game to allow Djokovic to lead 3-2.
Neither player was able to break in the following game and Djokovic finally won the match 6-4.
The two players tied in total points won 165-165, Wawrinka hit 19 more winners than his opponent, but made 23 more unforced errors.
"I think I was playing better than him," said Wawrinka. "I was doing much more things than him."
"But he's not No. 1 for nothing. He was staying with me all the match, and at the end he pushed me, pushed me far, far, far back."
Djokovic will fight for his second Grand Slam title this season after winning the Australian Open earlier this year. He had played US Open final in last three years, but only took the title in 2011.
"Playing four finals now in a row and five in total, I mean, it's great," said Djokovic.
"Seven, eight years that I have been coming back here I have played at least semifinals in every US Open. Fantastic."