Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Novak Djokovic battled to a five- set win over defending champion Stan Wawrinka to reach his fifth Australian Open final.
The world No. 1 Djokovic dismissed the fourth-seeded Wawrinka 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on Friday.
The 27-year-old Djokovic joins Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg as the only men in the Open Era to make five finals at the Aussie Open. He has won all four of his previous finals here, including two against Andy Murray.
Djokovic will meet Murray in Sunday's final. Murray advanced to his fourth final in the year's first major with Thursday's 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych. Djokovic holds a 15-8 record over Murray.
Djokovic and Wawrinka met for the third year in a row at Melbourne Park. Two years ago, Djokovic denied Wawrinka 12-10 in the fifth set of a fourth-round clash, but last year the Swiss got his revenge with a 9-7 fifth-set victory in the quarterfinals.
Wawrinka captured his first Grand Slam title here a year ago by stunning Rafael Nadal in the final.
Fans packed Rod Laver Arena on Friday in anticipation of another epic five-set match between Djokovic and Wawrinka. Their previous three grand slam encounters had all gone the distance.
"Yeah, well, I'm sure everybody who came to watch the match live and watched it on TV were expecting a five-set match," said Djokovic. "It's what we delivered for them. Of course, it was not intentional from our side to play five sets, I'm sure. But, again, very, very few details, very few points, very few shots can decide a winner of these matches. That's what happened tonight."
Wawrinka broke serve in the seventh game -- prompting a racquet bash from Djokovic at the change of ends. But Djokovic was able to break right back to love for 4-4. The set progressed to a tiebreak, where Wawrinka's game fell apart.
The 29-year-old Wawrinka won the second set in just 36 minutes. It was the first set that Djokovic had lost at this 2015 fortnight.
Djokovic jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Wawrinka found a way back to 3-3. A double fault by Wawrinka at 40-15 in the 10th game helped Djokovic win the set.
The world No.1 appeared to have the match in hand when he went up a break early in the fourth. But yet again, Djokovic failed to put Wawrinka away. The Swiss came all the way back to win the set this time.
Djokovic dominated the fifth set to record his 49th-match win at the Australian Open. Only Federer (75-12) and Edberg (56-10) have more victories at the hard-court major in the Open Era.
"Getting to the finals is already a great achievement, as I mentioned before," said Djokovic. "But now this is the match for which you have worked for now two months. This is where you want to be. This is why you put all these hours on and off the court, trying to get yourself in a position to win Grand Slam trophy, because that's what matters the most. I'm going to give my best, of course."
In addition, Djokovic won his ninth straight match against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. His last loss to a member of the elite came against Federer in the 2014 Shanghai Rolex Masters semifinals.