Melbourne, January 26 (IANS)
Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka survived Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8) in their fourth-round match at the Australian Open tennis tournament here on Monday in Melbourne.
It took the Swiss World No. 4 70 winners and just over three hours to advance to the quarter-finals at the Open for the third time.
The opponents traded breaks early in the first set. After Garcia-Lopez broke again for a 5-4 lead, the 29-year-old Swiss promptly broke back as the Spaniard attempted to serve out the first set. The eventual first-set tie-break went Wawrinka's way in 54 minutes.
The second set proved speedier for the reigning champion, as he needed just one break and 33 minutes to earn a two-set lead. He then got an early break for a 2-1 lead in the third set, but Garcia-Lopez fought to break back for 4-all and needed just one set point on Wawrinka's serve to sink his teeth into the match and force a fourth set.
The Spaniard continued to challenge Wawrinka in the 58-minute fourth set, causing the reigning champion to fend off five set points from his opponent before finally winning the match.
In his 40th Grand Slam appearance, Wawrinka will next face the winner of No.5 seed Kei Nishikori or No.9 seed David Ferrer.