Andy Murray has backed Roger Federer to bounce back from his Wimbledon second round exit and claims it will be a long time before anyone matches his incredible Grand Slam quarter-final record.
In what was one of the most dramatic days in Wimbledon history, Federer saw a 1-0 set lead slip away as he was knocked out by 116 ranked Sergiy Stakhov.
It was the first time that Federer had failed to reach the quarter-finals on a slam since the French Open in 2004, a run of 36 consecutive last eight appearances, and it stands as his earliest exit at the All-England Tennis Club since before he won the first of his 17 Grand Slam titles.
Murray, who is expected to be in action tomorrow when he faces Tommy Robredo in the third round, said of the record: “"I think that will stand for a long time, I don't see anyone breaking that for a good while.
"Records are always there to be beaten but it will take a long time for someone to do that. Novak is the closest and he wouldn't be able to do it for about five or six years."
Current world No 1 Novak Djokovic is on a run of 16 consecutive slam quarter-finals, but if he is to equal Federer’s milestone, he will have to maintain his form for another five years.
Having won just one Grand Slam title in the last three-and-a-half years, it would seem that the Swiss’ dominance over the sport for the past decade is slipping beyond his control, and he stands down in fifth on this seasons Champions Race, demonstrating that all four of his main rivals have had better year’s.
"I'm sure he'll be a threat, no doubt," added Murray. "It's just one shock result. He'll be back."
Having witnessed Federer and Rafael Nadal make an early exit, along with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who was expected to meet Murray somewhere along the way, the Brit could be forgiven for considering his chances as 2013 Wimbledon champion.
But he admits that it has caused him to focus further, with proof that anyone – including himself – can be beaten at any time.
“It's a good reminder that you need to be ready for every match and take nothing for granted.
"I just think that the consistency of the top players - for Roger and Rafa it's been about 10 years, Novak for four or five years - has been something that tennis I don't think has really seen before.
"I don't think that was because of the depth of the men's game or there not being depth in the men's game. I just think the consistency of playing at a high level from the top players has been incredible.
"But that is not going to last forever. When guys have slight dips in form, some of the younger guys start to improve and raise their level, then that's going to be tough to maintain for a long period.
"There's been a lot of depth in the men's game for a long time. I think it's just now the results are starting to show that."
Murray will face 32nd seed Tommy Robredo of Spain in his third round clash, and while the 31-year-old has been plagued with injury problems, he was returned in excellent form and reached the French Open quarter-finals earlier this month.
"He's a tough player. He had a good win against (Nicolas) Mahut, who has been playing well on the grass. He's very, very experienced. He's extremely fit. He won three matches in a row at the French from two sets to love down. He fights right until the last point.
"Last year he had some injury problems. When he's not injured, he's been in the top 20 in the world for a number of years. He knows how to win tennis matches. So it's a tough match for me."