Australian Open: Andy Murray looks ahead to quarter-final clash with Roger Federer
Andy Murray feels he is "close" to tasting Australian Open glory despite going into the event with lowered expectations.
Last Updated: 20/01/14 2:49pm
The British No 1 will face Roger Federer in the last eight after clinching a 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 victory over Stephane Robert on Monday.
Federer, meanwhile, produced a vintage display to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets and looks to be in much better form than he was during the latter part of 2013.
Murray leads the overall head-to-head against the Swiss legend 11-9 but his five-set win in the Australian Open semi-finals last year is the only victory he has in their four grand slam meetings.
"It's a big match for me. It's the quarter-finals of a slam. Roger's played great tennis here in the past. It will be a very tough match for me." Murray said.
"I said at the start of the tournament, I can't honestly say my expectations are as high as if I'd been playing for the last four months.
"It's been a good effort so far to get to the quarter-finals of a slam this soon after back surgery.
"So I'm happy with that. But I'm not far away from winning the event. Anyone that's in the quarters is close. I just look forward to that match and hopefully I'll play a good one."
Murray was on course for a routine win against Robert but failed to convert two match points in the third set, which the 33-year-old Frenchman went on to win in a tie-break.
The fourth seed stopped any potential comeback in its tracks in the next set but his struggles getting over the line took some of the shine off the win.
Murray said: "He wasn't an easy guy to play against. The whole match was tricky. Obviously the end of the third set was tough mentally.
"I dominated 95 per cent of the match, and for 15 minutes I didn't close the match out. I was one point away from being in here after a great performance.
"But I still created chances, even when I wasn't playing so well at the end of that third set, and then the fourth set was fairly comfortable. I lost my serve once. So it was pretty good for the most part."
Murray let his frustration show after dropping the third set by breaking his racquet, which he later gave it to a fan as a souvenir.
"Sometimes it's necessary," Murray said. "I had match points. I put a lot of hard work into that third set. I maybe lost concentration when I served for it. In the tie-break I didn't lose concentration, I just missed a couple of shots.
"Then losing that set was frustrating because it obviously means you're out there another 30 or 40 minutes at least, when I would preferably have been in the locker room.
"My racquet bit the dust. Unfortunate for it. But I was glad I managed to start well in the fourth. It's not something as a player you're particularly proud of. But sometimes you just need to get some frustration out. I wanted to do it at that moment. I took my warning and moved on."