MELBOURNE, Australia The opponent was different, the match three rounds earlier.
Still, the result gave Novak Djokovic a familiar feeling and another chance to rip off his shirt in celebration.
Djokovic needed just over 5 hours to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 12-10 in the fourth round Sunday at the Australian Open. On the same court, Djokovic needed 5:53 to beat Rafael Nadal in last year's final.
"I just had (a) flashback of 2012," Djokovic said. "It was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but it was still as exciting. I tried to enjoy the moment and couldn't ask for more. What a match point unbelievable."
He wasn't exaggerating about the match point. On his third attempt to end it, his backhand crosscourt shot zipped past the valiant Wawrinka, who, Djokovic conceded, outplayed him for most of the night.
"He came up with great tactics," Djokovic said. "He didn't give me a lot of the same rhythm that I could get into the match. He was the one being in charge. I was passive."
The win was Djokovic's 18th in a row at Melbourne Park, including the last two Australian titles, and advanced the Serbian star to the quarterfinals of a major tournament for the 15th consecutive time.
Wawrinka, who received treatment to his upper leg muscles from late in the fourth set, said he would take more positives than negatives out of the match. He led 5-2 in the second set after outplaying Djokovic in the first.
"For sure, I think (it was) the best match I have ever played," Wawrinka said. "I fought like a dog like always. At 4-4 in the final set, I thought I might have won the match, but he was just better."
Djokovic will next play No. 5 Tomas Berdych, who needed five match points in the tiebreaker before beating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (13).
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 over No. 16 Kei Nishikori of Japan to set up a quarterfinal against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who led 6-2, 5-1 when No. 8 Janko Tipsaveric retired from their fourth-round match.
Li Na, who reached the final here in 2011 and won the French Open later that year, saved a set point in the tiebreaker before beating Julia Goerges 7-6 (6), 6-1 in the fourth round.
Li will play No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 13 Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-4 for her 13th consecutive win, in the quarterfinals. Radwanska won the Auckland and Sydney titles before coming to Melbourne.
Victoria Azarenka advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Elena Vesnina. Azarenka is growing more confident that she can get back on course for a repeat of the winning roll that netted her a first Grand Slam title here last year.
"It's getting there with every match you start building up for the top battles starting now," Azarenka said. "It's really exciting to be again so far in the tournament."
Next for Azarenka is Svetlana Kuznetsova, who entered the season's first major ranked No. 75 but won titles at the 2004 U.S. Open and 2009 French Open. Kuznetsova outlasted former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.