Novak Djokovic struck back for the old guard at the Australian Open on Monday, soaking up the pressure from a willing Daniil Medvedev before crushing the young Russian 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3 to reach his 10th quarter-final at Melbourne Park.
The night after Roger Federer was stunned by Greek tyro Stefanos Tsitsipas, there was another sniff of an upset at Rod Laver Arena as 22-year-old Medvedev rocked the Serb with a furious assault of power hitting.
Yet the Russian wearied in the constant attrition, and top seed Djokovic cruised to victory, having passed easily his biggest test at the tournament.
The world number one will continue his bid for a hat-trick of Grand Slam titles and a record seventh at Melbourne Park against eighth seed Kei Nishikori.
The exhausted Japanese star battled from two sets down to outlast Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(8) 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4 7-6(8) in an epic encounter on Monday.
Dragged into a five-set dogfight for the third time in four rounds, Nishikori struggled to deal with the physical and mental strain early on as Carreno Busta took a two-set lead but the eighth seed clawed his way back to level the contest.
The Japanese blew an early a break in the fifth set but prevailed in the tiebreaker to seal the win in five hours and five minutes, much to the delight of his compatriots in the crowd at Margaret Court Arena.