Australian Open 2015: Defending champion Stan Wawrinka moves into quarter-finals with victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Wawrinka overcame a mid-set slump to see off Garcia-Lopez 7-6 6-4 4-6 7-6

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The Independent Online

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka breathed a sigh of relief after claiming his place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

Wawrinka looked to be cruising into the last eight in Melbourne when he led Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez by two sets to love and 4-2 in the third.

However, the fourth seed then lost the next four games in succession and trailed 5-0 and 6-2 in a fourth-set tie-break before clinching a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10/8) victory in three hours and two minutes.

Wawrinka said: "It was a real battle today. I was two sets up with a break and in the end I'm happy to get through. There was a good level of tennis in general and it's good to make one more win.

"At this level, things can change quickly. I did maybe two mistakes, then he start to play a little bit faster, a little bit more flat. I started to be defensive a little bit too much.

"Losing 5-0 was a bad start to the tie-break. At 6-2 I knew it was close to come back because I had the wind with me. I had to focus on every point. I knew if I was going to get it back to 6-5, he was going to get nervous. I did a good passing shot along the line and just focused point after point.

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Stan Wawrinka signs autographs for fans after seeing off Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

"I'm happy to get through. It is great for me to be in quarter-final and still there. I'm not focused on winning (another) major. I know it's difficult to do it. It's amazing I already did one. I'm taking it match after match."

The match was played on Margaret Court Arena after it was officially re-opened by the eponymous 24-time grand slam singles champion, although play was embarrassingly delayed for several minutes in the first set due to water dripping onto the court from the new retractable roof.

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Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was unable to halt Wawrinka despite a third-set fightback

Wawrinka will face fifth seed Kei Nishikori in the last eight after the US Open finalist beat Spain's David Ferrer 6-3 6-3 6-3. Nishikori won the pair's last meeting in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows last season.

PA

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