MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova stayed brave in the face of a spirited fightback from former champion Angelique Kerber to move into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 6-2 win on Monday.
German 17th seed Kerber rallied from 5-2 down and a 3-0 deficit in the tiebreaker to win the opening set against Pavlyuchenkova, who hit an incredible 28 winners to 12 unforced errors but still found herself trailing in the match.
The second set had a similar pattern as three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber saved three set points to force a tiebreaker but the Russian 30th seed would not let the chance slip this time and levelled the match with a booming backhand winner.
Kerber finally ran out of gas as Pavlyuchenkova broke the 2016 winner three times in the decider and will next meet former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who beat Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3 earlier on Monday. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)