Andy Murray continued to blaze a trail through the Australian Open draw 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 yesterday, 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.
With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer potential opponents in the semi-final and final, Murray expects things to get tougher.
The Scot, who faces Dolgopolov tomorrow, 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.”
Nadal, bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slams simultaneously, set up a quarter-final against countryman David Ferrer after seeing off the big-serving Croatian Marin Cilic 6-2 6-4 6-3.
Ferrer ended the run of Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic.
Raonic, who beat seeds Michael Llodra and Mikhail Youzhny in his two previous matches, was no match for the seventh seed, Ferrer winning 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.
Highly-rated Jennifer Ren secured her place in the second round of the girls’ singles event after beating home favourite Kassandra Dunser in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 yesterday. The Sheffield youngster, who turned 18 last week, is ranked 77 in the world. The right-handed player, whose sister Jessica also plays tennis, practices at the Hallamshire Tennis Club. Ren now faces Kanami Tsuji.