Former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka turned the clock on a vintage performance to surprise world number four Daniil Medvedev on Monday and race to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
The popular Swiss star, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 decision, dug deep to stay behind in five intense sets and won 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6- 2 .
It was the confrontation of the last eight with the Russian Andrey Rublev, from 17th position, or with Alexander Zverev, seventh from Germany.
"Another incredible match," said Wawrinka, who is in the 18th round of the Grand Slam, trailing only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray among the active players.
“The level was super high and the atmosphere is so special here in Australia.
"It is incredible to still be playing and at that level. I am very happy with what I am doing on the court."
Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka has not won a title since pocketed the 16th of his Geneva clay career in 2017, with two surgery sessions on his left knee pushing him to the brink of retirement.
The tour's prolonged absence caused his world ranking to drop, but he returned to number 15 in the world, after last year's races to the last eight at Roland Garros and at the US Open.
Defeating Medvedev brought another milestone in Wawrinka's illustrious career – it was his 300th touring victory.
It was the classic Wawrinka in the first set, with the 34-year-old playing his best tennis in a long time.
He broke down to win 3-1 up front and then again to take the set in 32 minutes of precision and strength, with the Russian struggling to face him on the court.
But Medvedev came back to break and lead 3-1 in the second set, when Wawrinka lost his reach, breaking again to face the set emphatically.
The 23-year-old took advantage of his early lead in the third set, with his serve making life difficult for Wawrinka, who struggled to create chances and had trouble applying the finishing touch to the net.
On the other hand, Medvedev was winning and broke 4-3 before sealing the set.
They exchanged blows in a tight fourth set, desperately fighting over the edge with a necessary tiebreaker and Wawrinka showing his experience to prevail and sending it to a decisive set, where the writing was on the wall.
Medvedev played five in his career and lost them all, while veteran Wawrinka had 50 in his career and a 28-22 record.
He spun the screws, breaking the Russian's opening game and then preventing three break points to stay 3-1 in front, with no return for the fourth seed.