Stanislas Wawrinka beat Tomas Berdych to reach his maiden Grand Slam final on Day 11 of the 2014 Australian Open.
Meanwhile, in the women's draw, Dominika Cibulkova will meet Li Na in the final on Saturday, Jan. 25, after both players won in straight sets in their semifinals.
Below are all the scores along with a recap of the highs and the lows from Day 11 at the Australian Open.
|Stanislas Wawrinka (8) def. Tomas Berdych (7)||6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6|
|Li Na (4) def. Eugenie Bouchard (30)||6-2, 6-4|
|Dominika Cibulkova (20) def. Agnieszka Radwanska (5)||6-1, 6-2|
Stan the Man Seals First Final Berth
Wawrinka, 28, defeated defending champion Novak Djokovic over five sets in the quarterfinals and was again forced to fight for his spot in the final by eighth seed Berdych. He eventually won 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in a match that saw three sets go to a tiebreaker over three hours and 31 minutes.
Can Wawrinka upset the odds and beat Federer or Nadal in the final?
Berdych blinked first, conceding the only break of the opening set in the eighth game, before Wawrinka comfortably served it out. The Czech fought back in the second to win via tiebreak, but his Swiss opponent held his nerve to edge to victory by the same margin in the third and fourth.
The match stats were very close, per AusOpen.com, with both men producing 49 unforced errors and winning 82 percent of their first-serve points.
Although Berdych produced three more winners and three more aces, he also double-faulted seven times to Wawrinka's four. Those double faults came at crucial times, helping to swing tiebreakers in the Swiss player's favour.
Wawrinka could now meet countryman Roger Federer, who faces world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the second men's singles semifinal on Friday, Jan. 24.
Wawrinka talked after the match about what this finals appearance means to him, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN):
"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 said he received a text message from Federer on Wednesday night saying he was really happy there were two Swiss players in the semifinals of a major for the first time.
"I told him, 'For you it's normal, for me it's not normal,'" he joked.
Li Na Aims for Final Flourish
There was another huge upset in the women's semifinals as fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was thrashed 6-1, 6-2 by No. 20 Cibulkova.
The 24-year-old needed just 70 minutes to seal the victory, her fourth consecutive win against a higher-seeded opponent in the tournament.
The odds looked to be against Cibulkova. She lost five of the six previous meetings with Radwanska and never made it past the fourth round of the Australian Open before.
But the Slovakian broke Radwanska six times and hit 21 winners in a momentous display to earn a first ever Grand Slam final appearance.
And this celebration shot shows just what it means to her:
Cibulkova talked about how much she enjoyed her shocking run to the finals, via ESPN:
When you look at it this way, it is nice for me. I didn't spend so much time on the court. I'm in the finals of a Grand Slam -- the only three-set match (so far) was against Sharapova. That's something unbelievable.
I was going into every match, you know, just to play my game and play well. This is what happened.
In the other semifinal, fourth seed Li reached her third Australian Open final after seeing off Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-4.
After taking a dominant 5-0 lead in just 14 minutes, it was tough for 19-year-old Bouchard to respond. She rallied in the second set, but Li managed to see her off.
Wawrinka and Cibulkova
Although Wawrinka has beaten Djokovic, he will face a very tough test against Federer or Nadal in the final, men with 30 Grand Slam titles between them.
Federer, 32, is desperate to win one more title and take his record to 18, while Nadal, the current U.S. Open and French Open champion, will want to add to his single Australian Open victory.
In the women's final, Li will be hoping to make up for previous losses in the final in 2011 and 2013. She has experience and form on her side.
As reported by Sky Sports' Tim Clement, Cibulkova will once again have to upset the odds if she is to win, having lost in four previous meetings against the fourth seed.