Marcos Baghdatis, Cypriot 15th seed, held off a spirited comeback from Russia's Marat Safin to win a five-set thriller and set up a third round showdown with Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open.
Baghdatis, runner-up to Roger Federer two years ago, won the opening two sets but was drawn into a five-set dogfight with the 58th-ranked Russian before prevailing, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in three hours and 12 minutes.
Baghdatis improved his five-set record to 8-3 in Grand Slams and will now take on Australian 19th seed Hewitt on Saturday.
"Marat played great tennis in the third and fourth sets and I just tried to stay focused and serve big in the fifth set," Baghdatis said.
"It was very important that I kept concentration and won points on my serve and Marat made a few errors."
The Cypriot captivated crowds and the media at the 2006 Australian Open when he defeated seeds Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic and David Nalbandian before going down to Federer in the final.
"I am more experienced and fitter. Last year was tough coming back here but I can handle the pressure better now," Baghdatis said.
Ivanovic in easy win
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic made quick work of
Italy's Tathiana Garbin [GALLO/GETTY]
Earlier on centre court, Ana Ivanovic, the pin-up of the women's tour, showed again that she can wield a racket with the best by romping into the third round by crushing world number 40 Tathiana Garbin 6-0, 6-3.
The 20-year-old Ivanovic, who recently described herself as a party pooper, gave the crowd on Rod Laver Arena a show that lasted just 66 minutes.
"It's definitely been great out here," Ivanovic said in a courtside interview.
"Even if I was a little nervous, the crowd helped me got over it tonight."
Ivanovic is writing a daily column in a Melbourne newspaper throughout the tournament and the popular Serb said she would be more than happy if they adopted her as 'Aussie Ana'.
"I don't complain, I love coming out here and playing. Tonight I played an awesome match, I really hope I can keep this level and play like this in the rest of the tournament."
Ivanovic will face Slovenian 28th seed Katarina Srebotnik in the third round.