Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Djokovic sets up Murray clash

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):

Novak Djokovic reached a fifth Australian Open final, avenged a long and arduous loss to Stan Wawrinka, and ensured he'd renew an old rivalry with Andy Murray.

The top-ranked Djokovic was so absorbed in the moment, he lost track of the score during yesterday's semi-final. His mental lapse after the third set probably cost him the fourth, but the four-time Australian Open champion recovered with three service breaks in the fifth set to beat defending champion Wawrinka 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.

"Sometimes these things happen, you get carried away by a moment," Djokovic said, trying to explain his perplexed expression after he'd taken a lead of two sets to one. "I was very confused when I saw the security on the court.

"The circumstances, obviously playing Grand Slam semi-finals against the defending champion ... a lot of emotions going around. Sometimes you can't keep track of the score."

Djokovic has a 100 per cent winning record in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam here in 2008 and winning three straight titles from 2011 before losing in the quarter-finals last year to Wawrinka. Only Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg had reached five men's finals at the Australian in the Open era.

The previous two meetings between Djokovic and Wawrinka at the Australian Open had gone to five sets and lasted a combined nine hours. Friday's match lacked that kind of intensity and memorable moments.

Top-ranked Serena Williams had to reschedule a practice session ahead of today's women's final against No. 2 Maria Sharapova.

"I've been sick with a cold all week, and I got better, then I got worse the morning," said Williams, who has won 15 in a row against Sharapova, has won all five Australian Open finals she has contested, and is chasing a 19th major title.