Djokovic holds off Wawrinka; Sharapova advances

JOHN PYE AP Sports Writer Published:

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Novak Djokovic held off a valiant Swiss player for a 5-hour, five-set victory Sunday night, extending his winning streak to 18 matches at the Australian Open and then ripping off his shirt to celebrate.

The big surprise, though, was that it was a fourth-round match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, not Roger Federer.

Djokovic held off the 15th-seeded Wawrinka 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a momentum-swinging match to reach the quarterfinals for a 15th consecutive major tournament.

The style was reminiscent of his 5-hour, 53-minute final win here last year against Rafael Nadal, only 51 minutes shorter.

Djokovic praised the 27-year-old Wawrinka, saying "he deserved equally to be a winner."