MELBOURNE, Australia -- Victoria Azarenka advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Elena Vesnina on Monday (Australia time), growing more confident 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," said Azarenka, who only needed 57 minutes to beat the 47th-ranked Vesnina. "It's really exciting to be again so far in the tournament. "
Next up for Azarenka is a quarterfinal against Svetlana Kuznetsova, who entered the season's first major ranked No. 75 but has won titles at the 2004 U.S. Open and 2009 French Open.
Kuznetsova was given a time warning for taking too long during a changeover in her 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win earlier Monday over former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki but said it didn't bother her.
As for Wozniacki, after twice failing to win her breakthrough major as the No. 1-ranked woman at the Australian Open, she is now expected to drop out of the top 10 after a fourth-round loss that follows back-to-back first-round exits at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
On the men's side, Frenchman Jeremy Chardy followed up his upset win over 2009 U.S. Open champion by ousting another seeded player in the fourth round, beating No. 21 Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday.
Play on Day 7 ran into Day 8 overnight, when Novak
"I just had flashback of 2012," said Djokovic, who ripped off his shirt to celebrate again, as he did last year. "It was maybe 45 minutes less this match than the one 12 months ago, but still it was still as exciting. I tried to enjoy the moment and couldn't ask for more. What a match point ... unbelievable."
The win was Djokovic's 18th in a row at Melbourne Park after winning the past two Australian titles, and earned him a place in the quarterfinals of a 15th consecutive major.
Wawrinka 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 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 beat South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (13).
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer advanced 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 over No. 16 Kei Nishikori of Japan to set up a quarterfinal against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.
Roger Federer plays Milos Raonic later Monday, and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray faces Gilles Simon.
They will have a tough time matching the spectacle of Sunday's late-night encounter, which also overshadowed Maria Sharapova's accomplishment.
Sharapova advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kirsten Flipkens, and has lost just five games through four rounds. That's three fewer than the previous low mark at the Australian Open, held by Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.