World No.1 Novak Djokovic will face Andy Murray in the Australian Open final after overcoming defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets in Melbourne.
Djokovic surged into his 15th grand slam final with a mighty display to see off Wawrinka 7-6 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0, who came back from a break down in the fourth set to clinch a decider.
Victory sets up a 23rd career meeting on Sunday (1 February) with British No.1 Murray - who defeated Tomas Berdych in four sets - in the fifth major final contested between the pair and the third Down Under.
Though Djokovic has a 15-8 winning record over Murray, both of the 27-year-old Dunblane-born's grand slam titles have come via final victories over the Serbian at the US Open and Wimbledon.
"I was prepared for a battle," said Djokovic. "We pushed each other to the limit.
"Andy and I go back to when we were 12 years old. It's nice to see that we're playing another grand slam final against each other and hopefully we can come up with a good match."
The second semi-final in the men's draw promised to be among the most punishing encounters of the season as Djokovic and Wawrinka duelled for the 20<sup>th time in their career for the right to face Murray in the first major final of 2015.
Five-set thrillers in successive years at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2013 ensured the latest meeting between the world No.1 and the defending champion was as eagerly anticipated as ever.
Both players showed signs of nerves in the opening set, exchanging breaks before it went to a tiebreak where Djokovic out-muscled the Swiss No.2, taking it 7-1 to steam into the lead.
But if the Serbian thought he would have the remainder of the match his own way he was mistaken as Wawrinka produced a stunning turnaround and Djokovic double-faulted in game six, giving his opponent the vital break on his way to levelling the match.
Djokovic claimed the first break at the start of the third as Wawrinka went long with a forehand down the line but a misjudged backhand volley saw the set squared at 3-3.
It was the turn of Wawrinka to fold in game 10 when after a sparkling forehand volley left him with two game points, he gave Djokovic a glimmer of hope and the four-time champion Melbourne took full advantage for a two sets to one lead.
And a break at the start of fourth sets cemented that lead but Wawrinka's grip on his title refused to loosen and he reeled off five of the next six games in dramatic fashion to once again set up a deciding set.
Again, it was Djokovic who started faster in the fifth set, strolling to three successive breaks as the errors flowed from the Wawrinka racket at the inopportune moment, to cruise into Sunday's final.