• Australian Open

Murray prepared for 'special' Federer test

ESPN staff
January 21, 2014
Andy Murray is pleased with his run at the Australian Open following his return from surgery © Getty Images

Andy Murray has admitted there will be something "special" about facing Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday.

Murray currently leads Federer 11-9 in the head-to-head record going into their last eight tie at Melbourne Park, which will mark the 21st meeting between the pair.

Looking for his 18th career grand slam title, Federer has enjoyed somewhat of a recent resurgence following a disappointing end to his 2013 campaign and impressively saw off the challenge of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round.

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Murray met Federer on the same court in last year's semi-final, when the Scot came through a five-set thriller to record his first-ever grand slam win over his opponent.

Murray believes he will need to use all of the experience from their past ties if he is to book a spot in the final four; however, the British No. 1 maintained he is still pleased with his run in Australia on the back of undergoing back surgery in September.

"Whenever Roger finishes, or Rafa [Nadal], I am not going to play against guys that have won 17, 14, 15 slams, however many Rafa has won, however many he'll go on to win," Murray said. "So it's always going to be special playing against him [Federer].

"I've played him 20 times I think. So all of those matches, it's all experience. You know how you need to play against him, tactically things that work and things that don't work.

"Obviously last year is pretty relevant because it's on the same court and it will be under the same conditions. But in an individual sport, any day is a new day. Anything can happen.

"You play 10% below your best, you can be off the court quickly. So whether my tactics are great or not, I need to play a great match to win."

Meanwhile, Federer has continued his impressive return to form with the aid of a new racquet, with which he believes the larger head will help to further improve his game.

"I do believe I have easier power with the racquet on the serve," Federer said. "It might help me on the return, as well. I hope it is the case. It's a great start to the season with the racquet and with my body. Everything is going really well. I'm very happy."

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