Australian Open: Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka into quarter-finals after seven-year absence

Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has reached her first Austalian Open quarter-final for seven years, fending off China's Zhu Lin 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Twice a winner of the title at Melbourne, Azarenka started slowly and lost the opening set, but stormed through the second to take the fourth round match into a decider.

Neither player could hold serve in the third set, but Azarenka's greater experience finally pulled her through.

The Belarusian wobbled when serving for the match at 5-4, but hit back from 15-40 to complete the victory at 2.15am local time, with an angled crosscourt backhand winner.

Azarenka, 33, will face third-seeded American Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals.

"I feel so relieved," said the 24th seed. "It was complete pressure, lots of momentum shifts, there was everything in this match.

"Happy I could handle everything and take my chances, and went for it. I've had a couple of close matches this year that didn't go my way, so I'm really proud of myself."

Looking ahead to her quarter-final, she said Pegula would be a more familiar opponent, after knowing little about Zhu Lin.

"I've practised a lot with Jess and I'm going to enjoy that one. If I do lose, I would rather lose to Jess, but I'm going to give her hell!"