Australian Open: Andy Murray and Roger Federer to meet in last eight on Wednesday
Last Updated: 20/01/14 3:42pm
Andy Murray dropped his first set of this year's Australian Open campaign before overcoming plucky qualifier Stephane Robert to reach the quarter-finals, where Roger Federer awaits.
Murray had seemed set to continue his untroubled progress through the men's draw in Melbourne as he gave a tennis masterclass for the first hour of his last 16 clash.
Robert, though, refused to let Murray have things his own way by winning the third set before eventually succumbing 6-1 6-2 6-7 (8-6) 6-2.
Murray's sternest test awaits next against four-time Australian Open champion Federer, who looked in brilliant touch during his 6-3 7-5 6-4 fourth round victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga later on Monday.
The victory took the Swiss only an hour and 52 minutes, while he chalked up 43 winners compared to 21 unforced errors.
Murray had breezed through the opening matches in Melbourne, accounting for Feliciano Lopez, Vincent Millot and Go Soeda en route to the fourth round.
And on paper it looked as if Robert, the world No 119, would be despatched with similar ease.
Murray satisfied with Robert win
Robert had already surpassed all his own expectations in reaching this stage having only earned his place in the main draw as a 'lucky loser' after Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out with a hamstring injury.
The Frenchman did start well but Murray appeared to have him worked out as he rattled through the first two sets.
But just as in his matches against Soeda and Millot, Murray appeared to take his foot off the gas in the third.
And sensing his chance Robert upped his game and was able to make life uncomfortable for Murray.
The British No 1 looked to have broken his resistance in the seventh game to move clear however Robert hit back. Having missed a chance to level in the eighth game he finally denied Murray in the 10th - with the 26-year-old having missed two match points.
Murray had two more match points in the tiebreak but Robert was able to cling on and clinch the set.
Hopes of an upset lifted the Hisense Arena crowd, who cheered every Robert point - however Murray was able to move back through the gears.
He broke Robert in the fourth game and despite the Frenchmen's best efforts he could find no way back into the match. Murray broke again in the eighth game to seal the win and book a quarter-final date with Federer.
From the start against Tsonga the Swiss looked sharp, breaking serve in the second game and easily holding throughout the first set.
All the pressure was coming from Federer and, although Tsonga held on until 5-5 in the second set, the 32-year-old was quick to take his chance when it came.
Federer and Edberg have only been working together for a week but the Swede's influence already seemed apparent, with Federer coming to the net 41 times during the match and winning 34 of the points.
The writing seemed on the wall for Tsonga when Federer broke again to lead 2-1, although the Frenchman at least fought back from 0-40 in the seventh game to keep it to one break.
Tsonga had roared in frustration after Federer won the first three points and hit a ball out of Rod Laver Arena in his anger.
It certainly worked in his favour, and in the next game he brought up his first break point of the match but netted a return.
Federer hit his first double fault of the match on his first match point but took it on the second with a clinical forehand volley.