Novak Djokovic bounced back on a break in the second game of the second set and hit a forehand winner in the next for a 3-0 lead. The Serbian broke again in the fourth game with a winning volley, saved a break point in the next and closed it with a winning serve.
Novak held out at 15 in the seventh game to close out the set and introduce a decider, where he fell 2-0 down. Wawrinka missed an easy forehand that could have sent him 3-0 up front and suffered a break that kept Djokovic in contention.
Novak gained momentum and claimed the set 6-3 to advance to the title clash, seeking his second Masters 1000 crown on clay after winning Rome in 2008. "I knew it would be a fight for both of us. Stan is very strong physically, and he had momentum after beating Roger Federer.
I made a slow start and waited for Stan's mistakes instead of chasing my punches. He used his chances wisely to take the set, and it was a different story in the second when I increased my first serve percentage and played aggressive tennis.
Playing against Rafa is not a 'Mission Impossible' In that case, he should not step on the court. You can't beat Rafa if you don't believe in yourself. I will try to beat it; It is the final and I think I have a chance. That is the only acceptable attitude against him on this surface.
Rafa has improved his game even more compared to last year. His backhand is stronger now, and he now steps in and holds that wing more efficiently. Rafa's serve is also better, and he is a complete player. Still, it is the final and anything is possible.
I am motivated and the pressure should be on Rafa because he is the favorite. I will try to be aggressive because that is my style," said Novak Djokovic.
Wolters reflects on Djokovic
Former NBA player Nate Wolters believes Novak Djokovic is a person everyone should look up to.
Wolters also reckons Djokovic is the greatest player of all time. "I know he (Novak Djokovic) comes to some games," Nate Wolters said. "I know he follows the team, which is pretty cool. He's probably the greatest tennis player of all time.
Hopefully, he can come to some games this year and obviously, I'm a big fan of his and I watch tennis quite a bit, especially the Majors. He's a fun guy to watch." Nate Wolters was proficient at tennis growing up. However, he feels he has lost his racket skills and as such, does not fancy taking on Novak Djokovic.
"I'm really not that good at all (in tennis)," Wolters said. "I haven't played tennis for a while either. So yeah, I don't want to face him at all," he laughed. "I was always a lot better at basketball than tennis, so it was kind of just something to do on the side, and something you can do the rest of your life", Wolters said.
"So I don't play a lot of tennis now just because I'm focused on basketball, but I think when I'm retired from basketball, I will play a lot of tennis."