Murray braced for tougher tests after sailing through to quarter-finals

ANDY Murray continued to blaze a trail through the Australian Open but the world number five accepts tougher challenges lie ahead as he bids to land a maiden grand slam title.

Murray cruised past Jurgen Melzer, winning 6-3 6-1 6-1 in an hour and 44 minutes to maintain his record of having not dropped a set in the tournament so far.

The British number one produced a mature, controlled performance, contrasting sharply with that offered by Melzer, the Austrian spraying the ball all over Rod Laver Arena as his all-or-nothing game was woefully exposed.

Murray will meet Alexandr Dolgopolov in the last eight after the Ukrainian stunned fourth seed Robin Soderling in a five-set thriller.

And with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer potential opponents in the semi-final and final, Murray accepts straight-set wins may be a thing of the past.

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He said: “I feel good but the matches are definitely going to get tougher.

“I’m not expecting to go through the tournament winning matches like that, with that scoreline. So I’m ready for that mentally when it does get tough.”

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Murray again got off to a good start, as he has done in the majority of his matches in Melbourne and the Scot ultimately cruised home to maintain his record of having not dropped more than three games in a set in the tournament.

Afterwards he admitted he had been surprised at the ease with which he had won.

He said: “Yeah, he (Melzer) had a good year on tour last year, I was surprised but I played a great match.

“I am hitting the ball well right now and have played four good matches so far.”

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