Djokovic pushed all the way by Wawrinka

20 January 2013 10:06:49 EST

Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a five-set marathon with Stanislas Wawrinka to keep alive his hopes of an historic Australian Open hat-trick.

Djokovic finally prevailed in an epic fourth-round clash after five hours on court, fighting back from a set and 5-2 down to win 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 12-10 against the Swiss.

The world number one will now have to try and recover well for a quarter-final clash with Tomas Berdych, as Djokovic aims to become the first man in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles.

The last year was a pretty big year for me. There were many new experiences that I learned.

Tomas Berdych

Berdych believes that he is a better player than he was 12 months ago, having beaten South African Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-2 7-6 in the fourth round to set up a meeting with Djokovic.

The Czech reached the semi-finals of the US Open late last year and has taken heart from that fine run at Flushing Meadows.

He said: "The last year was a pretty big year for me. There were many new experiences that I learned. I hope that I'm going to be able to profit from that.

"Even to play the semi-final in the US Open, that match with Andy Murray, even though it didn't go well, I could learn a lot from that."

Berdych is 4/1 to reach his first-ever Australian semi-final, with Djokovic 1/6 to win and stay on track for a third successive Melbourne title.

The second quarter-final will be an all-Spanish affair, with fourth seed David Ferrer taking on Nicolas Almagro.

Ferrer made light work of Japan's Kei Nishikori, winning 6-2 6-1 6-4 to reach his fifth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. Meanwhile, tenth seed Almagro progressed when Janko Tipsarevic was forced to retire with a heel problem when trailing 6-2 5-1 to the Spaniard.

Ferrer is 1/7 to reach the last four in Melbourne, with Almagro 9/2 to earn a shock victory and reach a first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.

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