Andy Murray extended one impressive streak and will need to maintain another to keep his bid for a third grand slam title on course in the Australian Open.
Murray secured his 16th consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearance on Sunday with a rollercoaster victory over Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old looked set to be dragged into a decider when Dimitrov led 5-2 in the fourth set, but won the next five games to complete a 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-5 success in just over three and a half hours.
The thrilling contest started on Sunday evening local time but fittingly stretched into the first hour of Australia Day, with Murray now set on improving his perfect 10-0 record against Australian players at tour level when he takes on home favourite Nick Kyrgios for a place in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old had earlier saved a match point as he came from two sets down to beat Roger Federer’s conqueror Andreas Seppi 8-6 in the fifth set.
“Obviously the crowd will be right behind him. Understandably so,” Murray said. “They’re going to watch him play a lot of matches like this over the next 10, 15 years probably.
“That’s just something that I’ll have to deal with in my way. I’ve played a lot of matches. I’ve played in the French Open against French players where the crowd can be very difficult. I’ve experienced it before, so hopefully I’ll deal with it well.
“I’ve tried my best to prepare as well as I could for all of the slams over the last five, six years. I think my results have showed I have played my best tennis, or played very consistent tennis, at the slams. It’s not easy to get to the latter stages of these events.
“Obviously I had some physical issues as well the last 18 months or so, so it’s nice. Hopefully I can use that experience of being in these situations before in a couple of days time.”
“I thought tactically I played a good match. I was disappointed with the 6-5 game I played in the second set. Also the tie-break I made a few bad decisions.”