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Australian Open: Wawrinka reaches his first Slam final

Melbourne, Australia: Stanislas Wawrinka backed up his upset of four-time champion Novak Djokovic by reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win over Tomas Berdych in the
India TV News Desk January 23, 2014 19:01 IST
India TV News Desk
Melbourne, Australia: Stanislas Wawrinka backed up his upset of four-time champion Novak Djokovic by reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) win over Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.
   


Wawrinka ended a 14-match losing streak against Djokovic with a dramatic five-set, four-hour win in the quarterfinals, then followed that with a dominating performance against Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist.
   
"I don't know what to say. I'm speechless," he said. "I didn't expect to make a final in a Grand Slam -- tonight it's happening."
   
Wawrinka will meet the winner of Friday's semifinal showdown between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the 33rd installment of their rivalry and the first at a Grand Slam since Nadal knocked Federer out of the Australian Open at the same stage in 2012.
   
Whoever he plays, Wawrinka will go into the final as an underdog. He has never beaten Nadal in 12 meetings, and has lost all but one of his 14 matches against his countryman, Federer.
   
Wawrinka has long been in Federer's shadow as Switzerland's less-heralded No. 2, but he's been slowly gaining confidence in his game since narrowly losing a heartbreaking marathon match to Djokovic in Melbourne last year.
   
In April, he hired a new coach -- Magnus Norman, a former Swedish player once ranked as high as No. 2. Since then, he's risen to a career-high No. 8 in the rankings and reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open.
   
Now he's taken the next step into the final of a major, where he could meet his good friend and sometime doubles partner, Federer.