Despite being stretched to four sets by 119th-ranked Frenchman Stephane Robert, fourth seed Andy Murray entered the Australian Open 2014 quarter-finals with minimum of fuss. He stamped his authority on the proceedings straight away and prevented Robert settling into the opener which was done and dusted in twenty-six minutes. The Olympic champion continued to boss the veteran opponent around in the second set as well until the 33-year-old put and end to Murray’s nine games run by making it 4-1. Even so, the set was already out of the Frenchman’s reach as the best British player soon sealed it to stretch further away. With a double set cushion in his hands, the last year’s Melbourne runner-up gave some breathing space to the rival in the third set and Robert made the most of it by bravely defending four match points and ultimately clinching the set in a tie-break. However, Murray was back in business in the fourth set where he turned in a routine performance to record a 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-2 triumph.
Roger Federer, seed number six, confirmed his good run of form and put in an inspired performance to slide into the last 8 at the Australian Open by brushing aside tenth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga without surrendering a service game. Their today’s meeting was a repetition of the last year’s Melbourne round of 16 clash when the Swiss came out a winner of a five-set battle. He was far more convincing on this occastion as he got off to a flying start to seize the first three games and eventually serve out the opener with ease. The second set was a neck and neck race for a long period of time until Roger broke the deadlock in the eleventh game and extended the lead after a hold to love. FedEx maintained high level of play and added to the Frenchman’s misery by stealing his serve early in the third set. Tsonga came up with the solitary break point chance in the eighth game, but it was too little to late as he was denied by the Swiss Maestro who closed out the encounter for a fabulous 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win. Their head-to-head record now stands at 10-5 in the favor of the former number one who thus stayed in competition for his fifth Melbourne title as well as the 18th total Grand Slam trophy.
“I thought I played really well tonight,” Federer said in a post-match interview. “Against Jo-Willie you’ve gotta bring your best game because he dictates play a lot. I thought I did a good job myself dictating a lot of the play tonight. It helped that I played well in the first three matches to come in and play a solid match tonight.”