Australian Open 2014: Andy Murray will face a resurgent Roger Federer in his best form since 2012, warns Greg Rusedski

Rusedski believes Federer is playing his best tennis since his last Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon two years ago

Greg Rusedski believes Roger Federer will go into Wednesday's Australian Open quarter-final against Andy Murray in his best form since winning his seventh Wimbledon title.

In the summer of 2012, Federer beat Murray under the Centre Court roof to collect his 17th grand slam trophy.

Since then the Swiss has managed just one slam semi-final - losing to Murray in five sets in Melbourne 12 months ago - and saw his run of 36 consecutive quarter-finals ended at Wimbledon last summer.

But in a comprehensive defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Monday, Federer looked back to his best, while Murray dropped his first set of the tournament against lucky loser Stephane Robert.

The Frenchman was the third of Murray's four opponents so far to be ranked outside the top 100, allowing the Scot a gentle reintroduction to grand slam tennis following back surgery.


Former British number one Rusedski, who is working as a pundit for Eurosport, said: "It was good for him to be tested and overall I think it was an excellent performance from Murray.

"I think he's improved with every match he's played throughout these championships. I thought the first two sets were absolutely brilliant, he dictated play and that's what you like to see from Murray.

"If anybody was worried about his movement, there was nothing to worry about.

"I think Murray enjoys playing Roger Federer but Federer's tactics have been a lot better this year. I think Roger will want to attack Andy's second serve, which Robert did, which changed that third set around in his favour.

"Federer was extremely impressive - that's the best I've seen Federer play since his Wimbledon title. He was sensational - the movement, the balance, when to come in and when to do the right things.

"Everything he did was just right."

Murray leads his overall head-to-head with Federer 11-9 but last year's semi-final is the only one of their four grand slam meetings that the 26-year-old has won.

"It's a big match for me," he said. "I said at the start of the tournament, I can't honestly say my expectations are as high as if I'd been playing for the last four months.

"It's been a good effort so far to get to the quarter-finals of a slam this soon after back surgery.

"So I'm happy with that. But I'm not far away from winning the event. Anyone that's in the quarters is close. I just look forward to that match and hopefully I'll play a good one."

Federer had his own struggles with back problems last season and appears to be living up to his promise that his form would pick up once he felt fully healthy.

The Swiss said: "I don't have doubts any more. I know I'm going definitely in the right direction.

"Last time we played it was a great match. So I hope we both can reproduce something similar."



A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
World Book Day
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot