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Australian Open Day 9 recap: Stanislas Wawrinka steals the show

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Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka reached the Australian Open semifinals for the first time. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, Australia – While you were sleeping, here’s what you missed on Day 9 of the Australian Open.

What happened?

Stanislas Wawrinka finally gets the best of Novak Djokovic: Djokovic’s streak of 14 Grand Slam semifinals is over. Wawrinka ousted the three-time defending champion 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in four hours, breaking a 14-match losing streak to the Serb and avenging five-set losses at last year’s Australian Open and U.S. Open. Click here for our recap of the match. Jon Wertheim’s analysis can be found here. Djokovic’s loss guarantees a first-time Australian Open finalist from the bottom half of the draw in either Wawrinka or Tomas Berdych, who defeated No. 3 David Ferrer to earn his spot in the semifinals.

Eugenie Bouchard steps into the spotlight: Before Wawrinka’s heroics under the lights on Rod Laver Arena, the day belonged to 19-year-old Bouchard. The No. 30 seed beat No. 14 Ana Ivanovic 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to become the first Canadian to make the semifinals of the Australian Open. The biggest takeaway from the match was Bouchard’s incredible composure. Facing a former No. 1 and Grand Slam champion, Bouchard rarely flinched, and when her game got loose she refocused and got it right back. Ivanovic wasn’t 100 percent — she was struggling with a hip injury — but credit Bouchard for a very solid performance.

Tomas Berdych makes his mark: Other than the flurry of attention his odd soccer-inspired kit has attracted, the Czech has slipped through the draw without much notice. But with his 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Ferrer, Berdych became the only active man outside the Big Four to reach the semifinals at all four Slams. Not even Juan Martin del Potro or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can say that. Now, with Djokovic out, he has a great chance to make his second major final. Ignore the Czech at your own risk.

Li Na cruises into the semifinals: No sweat for Li, who rolled past No. 28 Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2 in the first match of the day. She’s happy, healthy and — notwithstanding a third-round scare from Lucie Safarova – not wasting too much energy on the court. The two-time finalist will face Bouchard in the semifinals.

Photo of the day

Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic. (Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

Must-see video

Djokovic gives a classy news conference after losing to Wawrinka:

Best on-court interview of the day

Li gave a classic stand-up routine. Egged on by Rennae Stubbs, Li bagged on her husband’s inability to give her proper lobs so she can practice her smashes: “I say, ‘Can you just do normal?’ And he says, ‘No, because I’m not normal.’ I was so pissed.” She also revealed that she refers to her rackets as “shes” and never breaks them because they are her friends. And she names them. “What are their names?” Stubbs asked. “What are they named? Li Na 1, Li Na 2, Li Na 3 …” The crowd loved it.

Worst Justin Bieber reference of the day

I tried to warn Bouchard last summer, when we sat down for a Q&A, that not everyone thinks Bieber is cool. But she’s a loyal fan, and when asked during her on-court interview about her ultimate date, she named the fellow Canadian. And then the Aussie crowd booed. Oops!

Worst rule infraction of the day

Ferrer pushed a line umpire aside so that he could put down his towel. If the ITF wanted to, it could fine him $20,000.

Quote of the day

Here’s how Wawrinka’s post-match news conference started:

Q.  Nobody beats Wawrinka 15 times in a row.

STANISLAS WAWRINKA:  14 is already enough (smiling).

Tweets of the day

  • Published On Jan 21, 2014
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