Defending Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka revenged his loss to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Rolland Garros last year with a hard-fought four-setter win at the Margaret Court Arena on Monday.
The Swiss No. 2 seed started nervously but managed to take it 7-6(2) 6-4 4-6 7-6(8) and will play Japan’s Kei Nishikori in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
World number 5 Nishikori prevailed against Wawrinka at the same stage just months ago at the US Open and knows it “will be tough” this time ’round, despite admitting the win at Flushing Meadows “gave me a lot of confidence.”
Earlier on Monday, Wawrinka struggled to dominate Garcia-Lopez right from the onset, twice fighting back from a break point down before taking the tie-breaker 7-2.
He played better in the second set but handed out the third set. The match looked to be headed for a decider with the world No. 4 trailing 5-0 in the fifth against the same player who eliminated him in the first round of the French Open last year.
He however saved five set points before finally clinching the tie-breaker 10-8.
Nishikori was in absolute control at Rod Laver Arena, dismantling 32-year-old David Ferrer 6-3 6-3 6-3 to keep his campaign in Melbourne alive.