Another classic Grand Slam final now looms when the men's top-two ranked players Djokovic and Nadal meet for the 37th time overall and in their sixth major title decider.
While Nadal had little trouble getting past Frenchman Richard Gasquet to make the final, Djokovic had one hell of a battle with the ninth-seeded Wawrinka and for the second time in Grand Slams this year, the brave Swiss 28-year-old was left heartbroken after not taking his chances against Djokovic.
Wawrinka dominated the first set against Djokovic and needed just 34 minutes to win it 6-2 and then also had his chances in the second before it went to a tie-break where the Serb won it seven points to four.
However, the Swiss took back the advantage winning the third set 6-3 but Djokovic hit back to win the last two to claim the match 2-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in over four hours on the court.
Wawrinka was coming off the biggest win of his career downing the defending US Open champion Andy Murray in the quarter finals and he continued on that form with a blistering first set against Djokovic.
Wawrinka hit 10 winners and Djokovic had four double faults and 14 unforced errors to give the Swiss the upper hand and then after a tough tie-break loss in the second set, Wawrinka was able to secure the only break of serve in the third to go up two sets to one.
However, Wawrinka hit 30 unforced errors over the last two sets as Djokovic advanced to the final and broke the heart of the Swiss No. 9 seed for the second time in 2013 after winning 12-10 in the fifth set in the fourth round of the Australian Open after Wawrinka had that much won on a handful of occasions.
Wawrinka is able to take more positives out of this defeat than the one in Melbourne to start the year though.
"It's a strange feeling, but for me I think I need to take the positive again of that loss, for sure. It's my first semi-final in a Grand Slam, so I had a great tournament. Unfortunately today I was a little bit struggling physically," Wawrinka said.
"I think that is completely different match than the match we play in the Australian Open. In the Australian Open I had to play my best game to stay with him. Today I had the feeling when I was still fit, when I was still healthy I had the match in control. I think I was playing better than him.
"I was doing much more things than him. But he's not No. 1 for nothing. He was staying with me all the match, and at the end he pushed me, pushed me far, far, far back. I had to find everything I had in my body today to stay with him, and he won the match. But, yeah, I think was still a good tournament."
While it will be a tough loss for Wawrinka to overcome given he missed a golden opportunity to reach the first Grand Slam final of his career, for Djokovic it sets up yet another potential classic battle with Nadal.
With Djokovic forced to five sets and over four hours against Wawrinka, Nadal needed just the three sets and two and-a-half hours to beat Frenchman Gasquet 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-2 in straight-sets.
The semi-final appearance was just the second of Gasquet's career and first since Wimbledon 2007 but he will now have to wait another year to try to make his first final in a major.
Meanwhile, Nadal has the chance now to win his second US Open title after advancing to the final only dropping the one set which was in the fourth round against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Not only will the final between Djokovic and Nadal now be for the US Open championship of 2013 but also for the world No. 1 ranking with the Serb to stay there with a win or the Spaniard to take it off him if he is victorious.
The pair have met a remarkable 36 times previously on the ATP Tour with Nadal leading the head-to-head battles 21-15 while they have also played 10 times previously at Grand Slams with the Spaniard having won seven of those and Djokovic just three.
Five of those clashes at majors have also been in finals with Nadal winning at Roland Garros in 2012 and US Open in 2010, and Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2012, US Open in 2011, and Wimbledon in 2011.
This will now be the pair's third clash in a US Open final with Djokovic winning 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 in 2011 and Nadal victorious in 2010 winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Nadal isn’t necessarily glad that the final is against Djokovic simply because he knows what a gruelling battle awaits him on Monday, but he is looking forward to another chance to create history.
"Talking about a final, I want to play against a player that I have more chances to win but I play against him. I played against him a lot of times and always we played very exciting matches. When you play, when you are involved in these kind of matches, you feel special," Nadal said.
"Even if I lost that final in Australia, I feel happy to be involved in that match. Semi finals in Roland Garros this year have been very emotional, too. Few weeks ago in Montreal have been, you know, good, very good level of tennis.
"We are playing at very good level so the match becomes great because we play long rallies, we bring our game to the limit situations, and becomes a very difficult match for both of us. I need to keep playing very aggressive and play a very, very good match."
Djokovic also sees Nadal as the toughest opponent in tennis right now so he knows that if he is going to win his second US Open and seventh overall Grand Slam.
"It's always the biggest challenge that you can have in our sport now. I mean, he's the ultimate competitor out there. He's fighting for every ball and he's playing probably the best tennis that he ever played on hard courts," Djokovic said.
"He hasn't lost a match on hard court this year, and we all knew that over the course of last six, seven, eight years, hard court hasn't been his favourite surface. With no doubt he's the best player in the moment this year, no question about it.
"So the way he's been playing he's very confident, but, you know, I know how to play him. Hard court is the surface that, as I said, is my most successful surface. I have played him already here twice in the finals. I know what I need to do."