Tomic eyes Murray and Open quarter

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Tomic eyes Murray and Open quarter

Fired-up Bernard Tomic is vowing to take the fight to Andy Murray in their Australian Open fourth-round blockbuster.

Stirred by Roger Federer’s pre-Open barb that the dual grand slam junior champion has been unable to walk the walk after talking the talk, Tomic is desperate to storm the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time.

“So happy to be in this position. Anything is possible now in this position,” Tomic said before his third tilt at a last-eight spot in four years.

“I’ve beaten good players the last few months. Especially with the tennis I’m playing, I’ll go out there believing I can win and focus on my service games.”

Tomic has been saying as much for years, prompting Federer to challenge the world No.17 to finally deliver on his promise to gatecrash the top 10 in 2016.

“Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal and he’s missed out on it by a long shot,” the Swiss maestro said in Brisbane in January.

Tomic admits he’s been motivated by the crack and is relishing his opportunity to bring down Murray on Monday.

The Scot has won all three of their previous encounters, the most recent in straight sets in Britain’s Davis Cup semi-final win over Australia in Glasgow in September.

“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Tomic said of the four-time Open runner-up.

“I need to really take it to him.

“You have to take the ball to him, play aggressive, not too aggressive, and rally at the right time.

“If I play the right way, the right tactic, serve well, there’s a huge chance for me.”

Tomic dispatched compatriot John Millman in straight sets in the third round, already equalling his best-ever finish at Melbourne Park.

The 23-year-old, who burst onto scene when he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011, next faces Murray.

Tomic has lost all three of his previous clashes with the Scot, the most recent in their 2015 Davis Cup semi-final in Glasgow.

Tomic is the only Australian standing in the men’s draw after taking out John Millman 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in the third round.

While that late-night encounter finished after midnight, Murray endured a rough night as well in seeing off Portugal’s 32nd seed Joao Sousa in four sets in his third-round clash.

Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, coach of women’s star Ana Ivanovic, was watching the Serb’s match against Madison Keys when he fell ill and was taken to hospital.

The world No.2 skipped his media commitments as a result, but Tomic doesn’t expect the drama to be a factor in their match.

“It’s a bit personal to get into that,” Tomic said.

“For his sake, it’s bad luck. I wish him the best. I’m sure it will have no effect for him when he plays on Monday.”

2-ANDY MURRAY (SCO) leads 1-BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) 3-0

2015 Glasgow, Davis Cup World Group semi-final, hard, Murray 7-5 6-3 6-2

2013 Miami Masters, R64, hard, Murray 6-3 6-1

2012 Brisbane, SF, hard, Murray 6-3 6-2

ANDY MURRAY

Age: 28

Ranking: 2

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US42,435,316 ($A60.8 million)

Career titles: 35

Grand slam titles: 2 (US Open 2012; Wimbledon 2013)

Career win-loss record: 555-165

Australian Open win-loss record: 42-10

Best Australian Open results: finalist 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015

BERNARD TOMIC

Age: 23

Ranking: 17

Plays: right-handed (two-handed backhand)

Career prize money: $US3,634,181 ($A5.2 million)

Career titles: 3

Grand slam titles: 0

Career win-loss record: 555-165

Australian Open win-loss record: 15-7

Best Australian Open results: fourth round 2012, 2015, 2016

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