Australian Open: Andy Murray beats Jurgen Melzer to make quarters
Australian Open, Melbourne Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only) & Eurosport; listen on BBC 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online;
Masterful Murray eases past Melzer
By Mark Ashenden
Britain's Andy Murray produced another ruthless display at the Australian Open to see off Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-1 6-1 and secure his quarter-final spot.
The fifth seed showed aggression, resilience and no end of skill against the much-improved Austrian after serving his way to an edgy opening set.
Murray, 23, was relentless as he raced through with a 103-minute demolition.
The Scot will next play world number 46 Alexandr Dolgopolov, who upset fourth seed Robin Soderling in five sets.
Still to concede more than three games in any of his sets so far in Melbourne, Murray said: "I am very pleased. It was a match expected to be difficult but I was intense from the start and I dictated a lot of points on my forehand and didn't make many mistakes.
"It was quite windy and I didn't want to get behind in any of the sets. I enjoyed it in the end and it was one of those matches where everything I hit went right.
Murray boosted by 'best match'
"If I keep playing like I am I will give myself a good chance to win matches. It was one of the best I've played but I need to be switched on for the next match."
After racking up 30 winners and just 10 unforced errors on Rod Laver Arena, it was another masterful showing by the player who, having cruised through his opening three rounds, was facing an in-form world number 11 and 2010 French Open semi-finalist.
The 29-year-old Melzer had not progressed beyond the Australian Open third round before and, despite promising to push his Scottish opponent all the way, his attacking weapons were rarely on view as they were contained by the man desperate to make up for his defeat in last year's final to Roger Federer.
Despite winning their previous four encounters, Murray said he would have to be prepared for Melzer's "high-risk tennis" and he was proved right as his opponent produced a delightful disguised dropshot, followed by a belting cross-court pass to recover to 3-2 after suffering an early break.
That was as good as it got, though, as Murray's serve continued to dominate - he won 83% of the points behind his first serve - and combined with a deadly array of thundering forehands, Britain's number one secured the opening set in 37 minutes.
Any sign of a Melzer recovery was quickly stifled and his frustrations came to a head after suffering a double break to trail 4-1 in set two as he hurled his racquet to the ground.
The second set was swiftly wrapped up and, although Melzer showed some fight at the start of the third with two break points, Murray's booming serves once again got him out of trouble as he charged through to wrap up the triumph in convincing fashion with his 13th ace.
Standing in the way of a semi-final spot for Murray is the unseeded Dolgopolov, making his debut in the tournament and playing in only his fourth Grand Slam, and the Ukrainian looked down and out at the start of his fourth-round tie with Soderling.
Only 21 minutes were on the clock as the 22-year-old was blown away in the first set by the world number four, but he stormed back to take the next two.
The 26-year-old Soderling, who surprisingly had never previously been beyond the second round in Melbourne, seemed to have steadied his game as he overcame his rising unforced error count to take the fourth set.
I had a chance to get back in the match and I was playing well from the baseline
Increasingly-frustrated, the Swede was not helped by a blister on his foot, but the crowd on Rod Laver Arena were grateful for the ongoing topsy-turvy drama as he battled to take this intriguing encounter to a fifth set, albeit with some nervy moments and more sloppy mistakes in the closing stages having led 4-0.
As Dolgopolov's increased work-rate helped him continue to dictate proceedings from the baseline, Soderling, a two-time runner-up at the French Open, finally wilted under immense pressure as his unheralded opponent secured a famous 1-6 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-2 victory on his fourth match point to win in 156 minutes.
"It was a good match," said Dolgopolov, who became the first man from Ukraine to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since Andrei Medvedev in 1999.
"I was really struggling at the start, he plays a hard ball and I was serving pretty badly. But I had a chance to get back in the match and I was playing well from the baseline."
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