Andy Murray hopes his own prediction does not come true for at least one more match as he looks to remain on course for a third grand slam title in the Australian Open.
Until his second-round match with Marinko Matosevic last week, Murray was unaware that he had an unblemished record against Australian players at tour level.
Victory over Matosevic in straight sets improved that record to 10-0 and win number 11 over home favourite Nick Kyrgios this morning would give Murray a place in the semi-finals in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old concedes his 100 per cent record may not last too long with Kyrgios – who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon last year – heading an exciting generation of young Australian stars which includes the likes of Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
But the former Wimbledon champion will nevertheless be a strong favourite to disappoint the vast majority of a capacity 15,000 crowd on Rod Laver Arena. “I did say with the amount of great young talent that I’m not going to keep a perfect record against them for long,” said Murray.
“Hopefully it won’t end now. He’s had an unbelievable tournament so far and he’s only going to keep getting better. I am going to have to play a great match to win against him.
“I watched the whole of his match last week in Sydney. I saw him a little bit at the IPTL (International Premier Tennis League). I played against him last year after Wimbledon. Saw some of his matches at Wimbledon, as well. I enjoy watching him play. I think he’s entertaining.”
Murray won the pair’s only previous meeting 6-2 6-2 in Toronto last year, but admits that match in front of a sparse crowd will likely have little bearing in a far more partisan atmosphere.
Kyrgios came from two sets down and saved a match point on his way to victory over Roger Federer’s conqueror Andreas Seppi in the fourth round, but is wary of falling flat in the quarter-final as he did after his victory over Nadal at Wimbledon.
The 19-year-old from Canberra believes Murray is one of the “greatest athletes on the tour,” but added: “I think I’ll be pulling up (recovering) better than I did at Wimbledon. I know what to expect now, know what I am going to be feeling, especially after a five-set match like that.”
Novak Djokovic ensured seven of the top eight seeds reached the quarter-finals after overcoming Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.
Djokovic cut a frustrated figure as he was made to work hard for a 6-4 7-5 7-5 win on Rod Laver Arena, the world No 1’s mood perhaps not improved by knowing he faces more of the same big serving from Milos Raonic in the last eight.
“It gets easier and easier with opponents and their serves,” Djokovic joked in an on-court interview with four-time grand slam winner Jim Courier. “Milos has been playing the tennis of his life in the last 15 months. We are good friends and practise a lot together. He is one of the new generation of stars.”
Federer was surprisingly the only top seed not to advance to the last eight, the 17-time grand slam winner having lost in the third round, with fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, fifth seed Kei Nishikori and eighth seed Raonic all winning yesterday.
Defending champion Wawrinka looked to be cruising to victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez when he led by two sets to love and 4-2 in the third, only to lose the next four games in succession and trail 5-0 and 6-2 in a fourth-set tie-break before clinching a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 4-6 7-6 (10/8) victory.
“I’m happy to get through. It is great for me to be in the quarter-final and still there. I’m not focused on winning (another) major. I know it’s difficult to do it. It’s amazing I already did one. I’m taking it match after match.”
Wawrinka will face Nishikori in the last eight after the US Open finalist beat Spain’s David Ferrer 6-3 6-3 6-3.
Eighth seed Raonic squandered two match points in the fourth set tie-break but regained his composure to secure a 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-7 (7/9) 6-3 victory over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
Britain’s Dominic Inglot and Romanian partner Florin Mergea caused a huge upset in the men’s doubles, knocking out six-time champions and top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 in the third round.