Davydenko survives fightback
Russian sixth seed taken to five sets by Verdasco
Nikolay Davydenko survived a scare against Fernando Verdasco before finally reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
The Russian has looked in imperious form in the early rounds in Melbourne - and seemed on course for another comfortable win as he went two sets up against the Spaniard.
However Verdasco came storming back to take the match into a deciding fifth set - before Davydenko managed to finally see out the win 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-7 (7-5) 6-3.
Davydenko will now face world No.1 Roger Federer after he cruised past Australian 22nd seed Lleyton Hewitt in their round four clash.
And despite his fright on the Rod Laver Arena, Davydenko will go into the last-eight clash full of confidence.
The sixth seed is now unbeaten in 13 matches, and prior to his hiccup against Verdasco, he had dropped just 17 games in this season's Melbourne event.
Another victory seemed a formality as the erratic Verdasco, who was guilty of 87 unforced errors, struggled to make an impact in the first two sets.
However the ninth seed dug in to take the third set before forcing a tiebreaker in the fourth.
Davydenko really should have kicked on to victory in the tiebreaker, however despite opening up a 5-4 advantage with his two serves to come, the Russian lost three points on the bounce.
The setback didn't seem to shake Davydenko, though, and he was able to fashion out the decisive break in the sixth game of the final set.