Stan Wawrinka rallies past Daniil Medvedev in 5 sets to reach quarters

MELBOURNE, Australia -- As the fourth-set tiebreaker ended, Stan Wawrinka tapped his right temple with his index finger, his signature celebration. He probably figured he had his Australian Open opponent right where he wanted him.

That's heading to a fifth set.

Wawrinka came back to beat US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 on Monday to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park, where he won the 2014 championship.

This was Wawrinka's 51st career five-setter, which is tied for sixth-most on record in men's tennis history, and his 29th five-set victory.

The No. 4-seeded Medvedev, meanwhile? He is now 0-6 when going the distance.

Consider this a win for age and experience. Wawrinka is 34 and Medvedev 23. Wawrinka owns three Grand Slam titles and is on his way to his 18th major quarterfinal. Medvedev's lone run to that stage at a Slam came at Flushing Meadows in September before he lost in the final to Rafael Nadal in -- yep, you guessed it -- five sets.

This one hinged on the conclusion of the fourth set, when Wawrinka came through by taking the last three points of the tiebreaker.

Medvedev began to wilt then, as part of a portion of the match in which he ceded 12 of 13 points. That stretch included a break in the final set's initial game, when Medvedev sent a forehand long.

The 15th-seeded Wawrinka will meet No. 7 Alexander Zverev. He ended Andrey Rublev's 15-match winning streak and moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over the Russian player at Melbourne Arena.

Rublev hadn't lost a match since October, having won four matches at the Davis Cup finals and winning titles in Doha and Adelaide to start this season.

It is the first Australian Open quarterfinal for Zverev, and his third at a Grand Slam event.

The other quarterfinal on their half of the bracket will be two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem against Nadal, who defeated No. 23 Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4).

The men's quarterfinals Tuesday will be defending champion Novak Djokovic against No. 32 Milos Raonic of Canada and Roger Federer against No. 100 Tennys Sandgren of the United States.

After beating No. 10 Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday -- "easy to say that it was by far the best" performance he has had in the tournament -- Thiem said he planned to kick back and watch Nadal vs. Kyrgios on TV.

For scouting purposes, sure, but also for its expected entertainment value.

After losing a second consecutive final at Roland Garros to Nadal in June, Thiem didn't win another match at a Grand Slam tournament in 2019, losing first-rounders at Wimbledon and the US Open. Now he's into his first quarterfinal at Melbourne Park.