No. 4 Raonic, No. 5 Nishikori set for quarterfinal matchup
MELBOURNE, Australia — Stan Wawrinka stayed in contention for a second consecutive Australian Open title with a 7-6 (2) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday to advance to the quarterfinals.
Wawrinka saved four set points in the last tiebreaker while trailing 6-2, then saved a fifth before clinching the 3-hour, 2-minute match on his second match point.
The win helped Wawrinka get some payback against Garcia-Lopez for an unwanted record. Last year at the French Open, the Spanish player beat him in the first round, making Wawrinka the first first-time major winner to lose his opening match at the subsequent Grand Slam since Lleyton Hewitt lost at the 2002 Australian Open after winning the 2001 U.S. Open.
The fourth-seeded Wawrinka will play Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals. Nishikori, a quarterfinalist here in 2012, advanced to the quarters with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 9-seeded David Ferrer of Spain.
Hundreds of Japanese fans, many waving flags and some in traditional costumes, cheered Nishikori on from the stands at Rod Laver Arena.
Nishikori held a 6-3 edge in career meetings against Ferrer coming into the match, but it was 1-1 at Grand Slam tournaments.
As an 18-year-old Nishikori beat Ferrer in the third round of the 2008 U.S. Open — his second career major. Ferrer beat Nishikori at the Australian Open two years ago in the fourth round.