Teary Wawrinka gave everything in defeat
A teary Stanislas Wawrinka was adamant there was nothing more he could have done to beat Novak Djokovic after going down to the defending champion in a late-night thriller at the Australian Open on Sunday.
In a fourth-round match that finished at 1.40am local time, the Swiss, who took an early 6-1, 5-2 lead and had chances to gain a break in the fifth set, was eventually beaten by the world No 1 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 12-10 after five hours and two minutes.
"I think it's by far the best match I ever played, especially in five sets against the No 1 player," 15th-seed Wawrinka told reporters, wiping away tears.
"At the end I was really, really close, so for sure I'm really sad. But I think there is more positive than negative.
"At the end he was still there. He was playing great tennis. We were both tired, but I really fought like a dog."
Wawrinka had outplayed Djokovic for the first hour and in the deciding set had four break point chances at 4-4 but the Serb held on and finally clinched victory with a stunning backhand pass.
"For sure I was serving for the second set to be up two sets to love, but in five sets, five hours, you always have some opportunity to win a set or to win the match," Wawrinka said.
"If you don't take it, he's going to take it."
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Despite the defeat, Wawrinka believed the way he had played against Djokovic could spur him on to bigger and better things.
"I think I can use it, I hope I will use it," he said. "I think it's important if I want to keep improving myself, my game, to try to come back closer to the top 10."