Andy Murray Targets Australian Open Quarter-Finals In Melbourne


Andy Murray will face a surprise opponent in French "lucky loser" Stephane Robert as he attempts to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Wimbledon champion takes on the world number 119 not before 0530 GMT on Monday in Melbourne.

Robert, 33, is the first man to reach the last 16 having lost in qualifying, only to get a place in the main draw following a withdrawal.

"It makes a story.
I'm really happy to be this guy," Robert told BBC Sport.

"I waited all day on Monday and came back on Tuesday thinking it would be the same.

"I was in the player lounge and filling out some papers for the ATP and the referee called me to his office and told me I could play on Court Seven.

"He said, 'Are you ready to play?' and I said, 'I'm ready'.

I think it was like five minutes.
I was unbelievably happy to get in.
"It's a strange feeling.
I'm playing without any pressure because I already lost but I'm still in the tournament.

" Murray, 26, has yet to drop a set in three matches and said he is happy with how his back is responding in only the second tournament since he under went surgery in September.

He will play Robert for the first time when they meet on Hisense Arena, but the Scot is aware of the challenge posed by a player who has already won five matches at Melbourne Park.

"It's obviously a big achievement," said Murray.
"I know him a little bit from when I was coming through the Futures and Challengers.

"Playing in Europe and in the UK.
I've seen him play a little bit then, obviously quite a while ago now.

"It's good to see.
He's obviously 33 years old and it could be easy to stop playing if you're not in the top 100 or necessarily making a great living.

"But it does show if you stick at it, you're professional, when your chance comes, you take it, you can do great things.

It's great for him and good for tennis as well.
"He's played a lot of matches here.
He's played six or seven matches already.
He'll be match tight, that's for sure.
" Robert, from Montargis, is relishing the chance to play the fourth seed.

The 6ft 1in right-hander describes his style as "casino tennis, hitting crazy shots", and he has hit 100 winners in his opening three matches.

"I've played some top players - Rafael Nadal when he was very young, Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych, and I'm always happy to play a new one," he said.

"It's going to be a good experience for sure.