Australian Open: Andy Murray and Roger Federer set to clash

Last Updated: 21/01/14 1:18pm

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Andy Murray beat Roger Federer at last year's Australian Open

Andy Murray beat Roger Federer at last year's Australian Open

Sky Bet

Andy Murray will face the ultimate test of his Australian Open title credentials when he takes on Roger Federer on Wednesday.

Federer has won 17 grand slam crowns during an amazing career - and he has been successful in Melbourne on four occasions.

However 2013 saw the 32-year-old endure a tough time on the court, as he slid down the world rankings and failed to win a grand slam title. In fact he won just one ATP Tour event for his worst return since 2001.

The Swiss ace, though, has shown signs there is life left in him yet after reaching the final of the Brisbane International and has cruised through the opening rounds in Melbourne.

Federer is yet to drop a set and has only lost 38 games in his opening four matches. The sixth seed was particularly impressive in the 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory over world No 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last time out.

Murray, though, is one of the few players to have a winning record over the former world No 1.

The 26-year-old has tasted victory 11 times in 20 meetings - with Murray beating Federer in the Australian Open semi-final 12 months ago.

Murray won that encounter 6-4, 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (7-2) 6-2 - and a similarly tight encounter is expected at Rod Laver Arena.

Murray has had a largely untroubled progress at the Australian Open so far with three-set wins over Go Soeda, Vincent Millot and 26th seed Feliciano Lopez, while he toppled Stephane Robert 6-1 6-2 6-7 6-2 in the fourth round.

The only negative for the Scot, who is returning to full fitness after back surgery, has been the fact he has stepped off the gas in the third set in three of those matches.

Fighting qualities

Murray, though, will be only too aware that he can't afford to do the same against Federer.

Awaiting the winner will be either top seed Rafael Nadal or rising star Grigor Dimitrov, who will clash earlier on Wednesday.

Dimitrov, the 22nd seed, became the first Bulgarian male to reach a grand slam quarter-final after his four-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

The 22-year-old also ousted 11th seed Milos Raonic en route to the last eight - but he now steps up in class against Nadal.

Dimitrov has lost his previous three meetings with Nadal, however he has taken the Spaniard the distance on each occasion.

Nadal came through a tough three-setter against Kei Nishikori, the 16th seed, in the last round - and although he was broken four times, he showed his famed fighting qualities to progress.

Simona Halep: Appears in her maiden grand slam quarter-final

The second half of the women's quarter-finals sees defending champion Victoria Azarenka face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

On paper there should be little to choose between the two top five-ranked players, however Azarenka has an impressive record against the Pole.

The second seed has won 12 of the 15 matches between the two - and she is currently on a seven-match winning streak.

Two of the shock quarter-finalists clash in the opening match of the day, with Simona Halep and Dominika Cibulkova going head-to-head.

Halep, the 11th seed, has reached the last eight of a grand slam for the first time - with the Romanian edging out Jelana Jankovic 6-4 2-6 6-0.

Cibulkova has claimed the scalps of Carla Suarez-Navarro and Maria Sharapova so far, while she has also won two of her three meetings against Halep.

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