Wawrinka isn't far behind. Continuing his late-season momentum from 2013, he won his first tournament of the year, in Chennai. Wawrinka came into his fourth-round match with Tommy Robredo with a losing 6-1 head-to-head record, but dispatched the 31-year-old in straight sets.
Afterward, reporters asked him if he expected another marathon with Djokovic.
"I don't know what to expect," Wawrinka said. "He's an amazing player, especially in the Grand Slams. I watched him a little bit today. He's really, really tough to beat. I didn't find the solution to beat him.
"I need to play my best tennis to have a chance to beat him."
To have a chance …
That's probably as accurate an assessment as you will find.
The funny thing? They could meet again in two weeks when Serbia hosts Switzerland in the first round of Davis Cup. Wawrinka will play, but Djokovic -- who led his country to the final a year ago before falling to the Czech Republic -- has yet to commit.
"I'm focused on the next match, not Davis Cup," Wawrinka said.
Too early to discuss Davis Cup, Djokovic was asked after beating Fognini?
"Too early," he said, smiling. "Let's focus on this one first."