Tennis: Andy Murray vowed to turn up the heat in the Australian Open after booking a semi-final spot against Roger Federer today.
The Scot earned his place in the final four at Melbourne after seeing off big-hitter Jeremy Chardy in straight sets, meaning he will take on 17-time grand slam winner Federer on Friday in a repeat of last summer’s Wimbledon and Olympic finals.
And though Murray barely broke a sweat during his 6-4 6-1 6-2 cruise against the world number 36, he accepts that he will need to up his game against the Swiss star.
“I think you have to trust yourself that when you are tested you’re going to play better tennis,” the Scot said.
“You never know for sure but in the build-up to the tournament I played very well.
“I haven’t lost a set here yet so maybe I am expecting to play too well. But I’ve done a good job so far in this tournament.
“I can’t be disappointed with where my game’s at and I hope in the next round I play better again.”
The US Open champion dominated throughout against an opponent making his first appearance in the last eight of a major.
Chardy failed to employ his booming serve and crushing forehand effectively, allowing Murray to take control.
And though there was a minor blip as the Scot failed to serve out at 5-1 up in the third, he promptly won the next game to secure the win and gain revenge for a defeat in their last meeting at the Cincinnati Masters last year.
“I thought I started the match pretty well,” said Murray, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open era to follow up his first grand slam triumph by also winning the next major.
“He’s a tough guy to play against because of the nature of his game and his style. But I thought I did a pretty good job throughout the match.”
The Scot knows he will need to be on his game for Friday's clash with Federer, who muscled past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-3.
Federer said: “I’m looking forward to the match. It’s going to be tough. He is a great guy and a great player.”
Meanwhile Serena Williams claimed she was “almost relieved it’s over,” after her injury-plagued Australian Open campaign ended at the hands of teenage prodigy Sloane Stephens.
Williams had her hopes of a semi-final against Victoria Azarenka dashed after suffering a lower back problem in the second set.
At the time, she was in front and looking good to secure a place in the last four in Melbourne for the sixth time, but Stephens made the most of her good fortune to go through 3-6 7-5 6-4.
Williams said: “I’m almost relieved it’s over because there’s only so much I felt I could do.”
Stephens meets world number one Azarenka in the semi, after she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-1 to keep the defence of her title on track.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.