Zee Media Bureau/Manushree Chaumal
Melbourne: Three-time defending champion and number two seed Novak Djokovic meets number eight seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the second quarter-final of the men`s singles at the Australian Open 2014 on Tuesday.
The Swiss hasn`t beaten the Serb since 2006, but they have had some interesting encounters in the recent past.
In 2013, the battle between the duo reached new heights. Wawrinka, a reformed man last year, took Djokovic to five sets in both their grand slam outings. In fact, in the fourth round at the Australian Open 2012, the match lasted close to five hours with the deciding set going 10-8 in Djokovic`s favour. Again in the US Open 2013, the duel was a five set marathon.
Djokovic and Wawrinka have met 17 times in their career and the Serb leads 15-2. Wawrinka last won in 2006, but the new Wawrinka is a tough contender and can definitely give Novak Djokovic a scare in the quarter-finals.
This year Novak has not dropped a set en route to the quarter-final. He dominated Italian no. 1 Fabio Fognini in 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 in the fourth round. The defending champion has reached his 19th consecutive grand slam quarter-final. He also joins Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg and Ivan Lendl as the only men to reach at least seven consecutive quarter-finals at the Australian Open in the open era.
Wawrinka, meanwhile, defeated Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) to set up his quarter-final draw. He also comes into the tournament high on confidence winning the Chennai Open playing some remarkable tennis.
The 18th clash between the two is expected to be an enticing five-setter. The match might give a chance to the Swiss to take a revenge, or take the mighty Serb a step closer to his title retention dreams!
Djokovic`s route to final
Round 4: def F Fognini 6-3 6-0 6-2
Round 3: def D Istomin 6-3 6-3 7-5
Round 2: def L Mayer 6-0 6-4 6-4
Round 1: def L Lacko 6-3 7-6(2) 6-1
Wawrinka`s route to final
Round 4: def T Robredo 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
Round 3: V Pospisil (w/o)
Round 2: def A Falla 6-3 6-3 6-7(4) 6-4
Round 1: def A Golubev 6-4 4-1 (ret)