REUTERS – World number two Andy Murray, four times a losing finalist, will continue his pursuit of a first Australian Open title against eighth seed David Ferrer in a quarter-final match on Wednesday.
In the women’s draw, seventh seed Angelique Kerber from Poland, making her first appearance in the quarter-finals, faces two-times champion Victoria Azarenka, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament.
Murray has won his last five matches against the 33-year-old Ferrer, but the Spaniard is in dominant form in Melbourne and is the only player in the men’s draw to reach the last eight without dropping a set.
Murray, who is five years younger than Ferrer, said age would make no difference in the match.
“He’s in good shape. He fights so hard in every single match. He’s been rewarded for that with an unbelievably consistent career at the top of the game,” Murray said.
Kerber will be looking to improve her record against Azarenka, who she has not beaten in six attempts, but the Pole is determined not to let history weigh on her mind.
“You know, I had tough matches against her in the past. I will be looking forward when I play against her to really take my chances. It’s a new one, it starts from zero, and I know what’s coming from her,” Kerber said.
Meanwhile, 23rd seed Gael Monfils takes on 13th seed Milos Raonic, who knocked out world number four Stan Wawrinka in the previous round. At stake for both players is a first semifinal appearance at the tournament.
Monfils has come out on top in both of their two previous matches, but big-serving Canadian Raonic has backed himself to prevail this time around.
“I just have to take the game to him. I have to make him feel uncomfortable. Not let him get into his sort of playing comfort. If I can sort of keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I’ll have definitely some opportunities,” Raonic said.
The only two unseeded players left in the tournament, Britain’s Johanna Konta and China’s Zhang Shuai, will battle it out in Wednesday’s second match at the Rod Laver Arena.
Konta’s quarter-final appearance means that Britain has male and female representation in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1977.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich)