For the second time this season, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will cross paths to determine who will reach the semi-final berth at the US Open 2014. Both players are former champions at this event and will be hungry to win their second titles this season, particularly with the absence of defending champion Rafael Nadal. This marks the 21st time that Djokovic and Murray will meet on the professional tour, with Djokovic leading the series 12-8. Check out the Djokovic vs Murray Head to Head.
Top seed Novak Djokovic secured entry into yet another Grand Slam quarter-final – his 22nd in a row – with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber. While it was generally a comfortable match for the Serb, he did have to save a set point in the second frame.
“I’m very glad obviously that I had so many consecutive quarter-finals at Grand Slams,” said Djokovic. “Obviously it motivates me for the future to continue that streak. I feel good about my game, myself. My physical state is pretty good. I’m fit. This is something that is obviously encouraging me for the next one.”
Next for Djokovic is his 21nd encounter with Andy Murray, and while he is aware of Murray’s rough spell this season, he is certain that the Briton will want to perform at his best in New York.
“We all know how good of a player he is and what kind of qualities he possesses,” said Djokovic of Murray. “He’s been on and off this year, but I’m sure this is where he wants to do well. But I’m feeling very confident on the court as well. I think it’s going to be very, very high quality tennis. I’m looking forward to seeing where my game is against one of the world’s best players.”
Not only did Andy Murray successfully book his fourth Grand Slam quarter-final this season with his straight sets victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but the world No. 9 also picked up his first win over a Top 10 player this season. The Scot defeated Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 in what was undoubtedly one of his cleaner performances this season.
“Today was a good match for the most part,” said Murray. “I feel like I’m playing well. I’m going to have to play extremely well to win the event or even just to get through the next match. I’ll just try and take the confidence that I gained from a win like this into the next round, and hopefully put on another good performance.”
With his confidence swelling, Murray is prepared for his traditionally grueling undertakings with longtime foe Djokovic.
“They were both very long, tough matches, so I know that I can last those matches against him,” said Murray. “Anything can happen in a couple of days. I just do everything properly and hope on Wednesday I play a good match.”
Djokovic and Murray have clashed 20 times on the professional tour, with the Serb leading the series 12-8. Nine of those encounters took place in tour finals, with Murray leading 5-4. Djokovic leads their hard court series 10-6 and is 2-0 on clay, while the Briton has won both their meetings on grass. Based on their season trajectory so far, the odds will certainly favour Djokovic tomorrow afternoon, yet Murray showed promising signs and flashes of brilliance in his fourth round match-up against Tsonga, which could boost his motivation heading into this quarter-final encounter.
“I think that’s really why we play the game,” said Murray, looking ahead to his next match. “That’s what you put the work in for, so that when you come to these events and you do have to play against the best players that you’re ready. And, as much as it’s incredibly tough and challenging, the match, that’s what you enjoy.”
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Five Sets