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September 24, 2017

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Wawrinka stuns defending champion Djokovic in quarterfinal at Aussie Open

MELBOURNE -- Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka dumped three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic out of the Australian Open with a thrilling five-set victory on Tuesday.

The Swiss eighth seed beat Djokovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in a four-hour quarterfinal at Rod Laver Arena to set up a semi-final with Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych.

It ended a 14-match losing run against Djokovic for Wawrinka, who had gone down in two previous five-setters in majors to the Serb, at last year's Australian Open and US Open.

The stunning defeat halted Djokovic's 28-match unbeaten run since the US Open final and his 25-match winning streak at the Australian Open stretching back to 2011.

Djokovic also became the first defending champion to lose before the semifinals at the Australian Open since Rafael Nadal retired injured against Andy Murray in the quarterfinals in 2009.

"Last year (at the Australian Open) I didn't finish it and it was really tough. But this year I came back, it's a new year and I was feeling really good," Wawrinka said.

"I tried everything, he's an amazing champion ... I'm really, really, really, really happy."

It is Wawrinka's second Grand Slam semifinal after losing to Djokovic at last year's US Open.

"I was feeling great on the court and was focused on that. I was trying to stay aggressive. I always fight, I always try and tonight I won so I'm really happy," Wawrinka said.

China's Li Na demolished Flavia Pennetta as she swept impressively into the Australian Open semifinals and a date with precocious teen star Eugenie Bouchard on Tuesday.

As Tomas Berdych finally ended his Rod Laver Arena jinx with a four-sets win over David Ferrer, Li looked odds-on to reach a third Melbourne final after tearing past fellow veteran Pennetta.

The Chinese world number four pummeled winners past the Italian as she broke five times and won 62 points to just 37 for her opponent in the 6-2, 6-2 victory.

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