The men's quarter finals got underway at the Australian Open during the afternoon with world No. 3 David Ferrer taking on world No. 7 Tomas Berdych, and it was the Czech seventh-seed who prevailed in four sets, 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
That ended a run of three straight quarter-final losses in Melbourne for Berdych and he will now take on Wawrinka for a place in the final after the Swiss world No. 8 pulled off a remarkable win over world No. 2 and four-time Australian Open winner Djokovic.
Wawrinka had his heartbroken twice in Grand Slam five-set losses to Djokovic last year, and it appeared possible to happen again when he couldn’t capitalise on a two sets to one lead, but he took out the fifth set after a rain delay to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7.
Either Berdych or Wawrinka will now win their way into an Australian Open final for the first time.
The men's quarter finals began with Ferrer taking on Berdych, and surprisingly it was the big-hitting Czech who flew out of the blocks and caught the Spanish third-seed somewhat unawares in the opening set.
Berdych cruised through it six games to one and then he backed that up in the second set winning that six games to four to race out to a two sets to love lead in just an hour and 20 minutes.
However, Ferrer has got to where he has in his career because of his fighting qualities and the 31-year-old dug deep to break Berdych's serve twice in the third to win it six games to two.
The fourth set was one where both players knew that if it went to a fifth set, Ferrer would become a warm favourite, and as a result both threw everything at it.
There was just one break of serve in the 63-minute set, but that went the way of the Czech and as a result he won the match to end his run of three straight quarter-final exits at the Australian Open.
All eyes then turned to the night clash and the third Grand Slam meeting in the last 12 months between Djokovic and Wawrinka.
Wawrinka, the long-time Swiss No. 2, was in the form of his life for much of 2013 but twice in Grand Slams he was denied a memorable run at a major because of Djokovic.
The first came in last year's Round of 16 at the Australian Open with Djokovic eventually winning 12 games to 10 in a fifth set.
Then in the semi-final of the US Open, Djokovic again prevailed in five sets, this time six games to four in the final set.
Then they also met at the US Open last year in another five-set battle with Djokovic again winning six games to four this time in the fifth to qualify for the final.
The quarter-final clash on Tuesday night began in the worst possible way for Wawrinka, though, with Djokovic breaking his serve twice while not even giving up a break point to go up one set to love winning it comfortable 6-2 in just 31 minutes.
However, Wawrinka had both the belief that he could hang with Djokovic after his efforts last year and also the memory that he didn’t want to be left devastated for a third straight time inside 12 months.
As a result, he earned the only break of serve in the second set, tidied up his own game with 15 winners to 11 unforced errors to take it out 6-4.
The 28-year-old Swiss world No. 8 then put on a dominant display in the third set winning it six games to two on the back of two service breaks, just six unforced errors and winning 79 per cent of his first serves.
Wawrinka had all the momentum, but Djokovic wasn’t ready to go away and with a gutsy break of serve late in the fourth set, he broke away to win it 6-3 to send the clash into a deciding fifth.
As if the tennis wasn’t already tense enough, with the match tied at two-sets apiece, five games each and with Wawrinka leading 40-15 on serve, rain started to fall and play was delayed while the Rod Laver Arena roof was closed a the clock ticked past 11pm.
It has been a brutal affair in the fifth set before the delay, but it did freshen both players up slightly as play resumed.
Wawrinka quickly closed out his service game to lead 6-5 before Djokovic comfortable held as well to level things at 6-6.
After another hold of serve each, Wawrinka went up 8-7 when holding serve again and then he was able to capitalise on one of 13 Djokovic errors of the fifth set to earn the biggest win of his career to date.
As have the pair's last two Grand Slam meetings, the match was a classic on Rod Laver Arena lasting exactly four hours with both players having 60 unforced errors, but Wawrinka hitting 51 winners to Djokovic's 45.