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Wawrinka: "I Tried To Find Solutions"

Melbourne, Australia

Wawrinka Melbourne 2014© AFP/Getty ImagesStanislas Wawrinka is No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

During a string of 14 losses against Novak Djokovic, Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka learned many lessons along the way. Wawrinka, who snapped his losing streak against the Serb, put his knowledge to the test on Tuesday as he faced Djokovic in their third Grand Slam encounter. By drawing on his experiences from their previous battles, Wawrinka turned the tables on Djokovic, defeating the three-time defending champion in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

"I had to stay really aggressive," said Wawrinka. "I had to push him a lot, because to be ahead in the score, it's always an advantage, especially here [in Melbourne] where the courts are fast and with the windy conditions."

"[Djokovic] is an amazing champion. He always fights. Last time he found solutions against me in the fifth set. He was the better player then. But not tonight. I won the match because I really, really tried to find solutions tonight.

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"I had to fight within myself to fight against him and try to play my game. That means being really aggressive and serving better.

"I came on the court tonight with a lot of confidence in myself, knowing that if I play my best game, I would always have a chance against him."

The 28 year old is still riding the wave that propelled him to finish 2013 at No. 8 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and win the title in Chennai earlier this month. "Last year I had a big jump in confidence. I trust myself when I go on court. I know that I can beat those [top] players. I try everything to beat them. Even when I lose, I go back to practise to try to improve."

Wawrinka, in his best performance in Melbourne thus far (he lost in the 2011 quarter-finals to Federer), knows that he needs to keep honing his game to stay successful. "The only thing I can control is what I'm doing off the court: my practice and how I do my schedule. I always try to improve.

"I always try to change my game a little bit, to improve, to find solutions when I play against the top players."

Wawrinka also credits his coaching relationship with former World No. 2 Magnus Norman that started last year. "We have had some amazing results already; this is my second [Grand Slam] semi-final with him," said Wawrinka about Norman. "He's there. He's pushing me every day on the practice court before and after matches. He's a great guy and really good coach. So far we are enjoying working together."

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