FLUSHING, N.Y. — After 330 points over 4 hours, 9 minutes, the point total was split evenly at 165. Novak Djokovic breathed a sigh of relief when he realized that what seemed like no differential margin was instead a five-set victory in his favor.Even the top-seeded Djokovic, who reached his fourth consecutive U.S. Open final with the 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory Saturday, conceded that his worthy opponent, ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, played a better match than he did.“Wawrinka was the better player for the better part of the match because he was aggressive and played better tennis,” said Djokovic, who on Monday will meet a familiar foe, second-seeded Rafael Nadal, for the third time in a U.S. Open final. Nadal earned his spot with his fifth straight-set win of the tournament, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-2 over eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France.Djokovic and Nadal will play for the 37th time over the past 7 1/2 years and the fourth time this season. Nadal, who is undefeated on hard courts this year, has won five of their past six matches, including 9-7 in the fifth set in the semifinals of the French Open in June.For a while it looked as if Djokovic-Nadal might never happen. Wawrinka broke the Serb’s serve three times in the first set. But Djokovic, who kept switching rackets in the hope of finding more rhythm, fought back to take a second-set tiebreaker that, at one point, featured a 27-stroke rally that Wawrinka finally won with a sharply angled cross-court forehand winner.Another extended rally, late in the third set, helped the 28-year-old Wawrinka take the third set but also seemed to tax him physically. At 4-1 down in the fourth Wawrinka, who had upset defending champion and third seed Andy Murray to reach the first major semifinal of his career, called for the trainer and went off court for treatment of a strained right thigh.The defining moment came in the third game of the fifth set, a 21-minute game that lasted longer than four entire sets in the women’s draw, including Serena Williams’ 19-minute 6-0 first-set win over Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals. The 30-point game, served by Wawrinka, featured 12 deuces, five break points and seven game points before Wawrinka finally hit a forehand cross-court winner, sending the 23,000-plus fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium into an uproar.Though he lost the game, Djokovic, who converted only 4 of 19 break points in the match, managed to break Wawrinka in the fifth game and then hold on for the win, serving a 121 mph ace on match point.“I sincerely believed that as the match progressed that I may have the physical edge,” said Djokovic. “Also, being in these kind of matches and situations, playing on a big stage in the semifinals, maybe that experience could give me a little more confidence on the court mentally.”After the excitement of the Djokovic-Wawrinka match, the crowd was drained of emotion for Nadal and Gasquet. And Nadal made sure it stayed that way, except for a brief moment in the second set when he saved two break points in the eighth game and then forced a tiebreaker, which Gasquet lost on bookend double faults.The Frenchman, who has lost 10 consecutive matches to Nadal and whose only wins over the Spaniard were in the juniors and in a Challenger event in 2003, also hit consecutive doubles faults in the final game of the match.Nadal, who missed last year’s U.S. Open with a knee injury, will face Djokovic in the final for the third time in the past four years. They have split their previous matches, with Nadal winning the title in four sets in 2010 and Djokovic winning in four sets in 2011. Clearly, they both come into this year’s final match with momentum, incentive and plenty of experience.“Experience is something that you cannot be born with,” Djokovic said. “It’s something that you get playing a lot of matches on a big stage.”On that point, both Djokovic and Nadal are completely even.