With a score line reading 6-1, 5-2 in favor of Stanislas Wawrinka over Novak Djokovic, the scoreboard didn't lie. But that didn't make it any easier to believe.
The 17th-ranked Swiss, who has played his career in Roger Federer's shadow, had not beaten Djokovic since 2006. Yet, here he was, poised to take a two-sets-to-love lead, having broken the Serb's serve four consecutive times.
In the end, it was not the Djokovic recovery that was surprising, but the fact Wawrinka, not known for the steadiness of his nerves in a crisis, battled him for 5 hours, 2 minutes before succumbing 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10.
It was a magnificent duel, easily the best match of this Australian Open so far, and, in Wawrinka's opinion, the best match he has ever played in his 11 years on the tour.
"I was playing great tennis; I fought like a dog," he said after dragging an exhausted body into his press conference at 2:35 a.m. "But in the end, he was better."