Stan Wawrinka's Australian Open title defence came to an end at the hands of Novak Djokovic on Friday.
Novak Djokovic ended Stan Wawrinka's Australian Open title defence with a five-set win in their semi-final in Melbourne on Friday.
For the third straight year, the duo went to five sets " and for the second time, Djokovic came out on top.
The world number one claimed a 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 victory over Swiss star Wawrinka in three hours, 30 minutes.
Despite several moments for highlight reels, neither player was at their peak for long periods.
The players' tallies reflected as much " Djokovic had 27 winners and 49 unforced errors, while Wawrinka finished with 42 and 69 respectively.
But five sets were required like in 2014 and '13 as Djokovic set up a meeting with Andy Murray in Sunday's decider.
The winner of the Djokovic-Wawrinka clash in the previous two years went on to lift the trophy.
The first five games of Friday's match took just 11 minutes as both players held comfortably before exchanging breaks.
Set points came and went for seven-time grand slam champion Djokovic in the 10th game, two errors off the forehand side letting Wawrinka off the hook.
But from the moment a ripping Wawrinka backhand cross-court missed a centimetre wide, Djokovic was in control of the tie-break.
He rolled out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back, taking the first set in 43 minutes.
Djokovic has lost just three of 158 matches at grand-slam level after taking the first set, but one of those was to Wawrinka a year ago.
Djokovic won his first 10 points on serve in the second set " only to lose four in a row in the sixth game, complete with a double fault, to be broken.
This time, Wawrinka consolidated " Djokovic sending a backhand into the net and himself 5-2 down in the set.
And Wawrinka served the set out to love in the ninth game to level the match.
The pair traded breaks early in the third, but the crucial moment came in the 10th " and final " game of the set.
Serving at 4-5, Wawrinka was left to rue a double fault that allowed Djokovic back in from 40-15.
Moments later, the Swiss star netted a forehand and the 52-minute set was gone after 21 unforced errors.
Breaks were traded again early in the fourth before Wawrinka recovered from 0-40 to hold for 2-2.
Djokovic hit four unforced errors " taking his tally for the set to 12 to go with no winners " as Wawrinka broke to love to lead 4-3.
When he hit a forehand winner into an open court soon after, part three of the rivalry was headed to a third five-setter.
As the clocked ticked over three hours, Djokovic needed 11 minutes to hold in the opening game of the fifth.
That would prove to be a huge moment " Wawrinka's two double faults and long backhand seeing him fall a break behind.
Djokovic went 4-0 up and never looked back, Wawrinka putting a forehand wide on match point as his title defence came to an end.