Wawrinka completes Italian job to reach Australian Open quarter-finals
By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka's campaign for a second Australian Open title stepped up a gear on Sunday as the hard-working Swiss fended off Italian journeyman Andreas Seppi 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 7-6(4) to reach his fourth quarter-final at Melbourne Park.
The 2014 champion has done it tough in the opening week, but despite the tight scoreline, he was rarely threatened by 89th-ranked Seppi on a sunny afternoon at Margaret Court Arena.
With top seed Andy Murray crashing out only minutes before the win, Wawrinka's chances of grabbing a fourth grand slam title have been given a huge boost and he is now the highest seed in the top half of the draw.
Wawrinka next faces Dan Evans or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals.
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)