1/21/13 10:52 PM | Johan Lindahl
Novak Djokovic briefly lived through a flashback to his winning 2012 marathon final at the Australian Open as he struggled to finally overcome battling Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka to reach this year's quarter-finals.
The match, lasting a shade over five hours, was filled with exhilarating, booming shots, with both competitors lifting to the highest level throughout the struggle.
Djokovic finally finished off on a match point at 1:42 a.m. with a flicking cross-court winner to end a duel. He was relieved to just survive against the Swiss.
"I just had flashback of 2012 in the finals," he said of the epic in which he beat Rafael Nadal in another battle of wills in just under six hours. "This was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but still it was still as exciting.
"I guess everybody enjoyed the match. I tried to perform my best, enjoy the moment, be in the present, and couldn't ask for more. What a match point. Unbelievable."
The Serb was going through recovery as week two at Melbourne Park began, with his next match a quarter-final against Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych.
"I always knew Stan has a quality, he has ability to beat the best players in the world, and he has proven that on several occasions on different surfaces. He's using that power and the serve. He's really moving well over the court, he's reading the game."
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