Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nadal: Murray Is Tough Opponent

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nadal: Murray Is Tough Opponent

Article excerpt

RAFAEL Nadal is preparing for "one of the toughest matches on the circuit" when he takes on Andy Murray this morning in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Despite never winning a grand slam title, Murray's opponents are still wary of his ability. However, the 23-year-old Spaniard knows what it takes to win a major, having already claimed six in his impressive career.

Murray, one year Nadal's junior, is still waiting to claim a major success, his appearance in the 2008 US Open final the closest the Scot has come to breaking Britain's 74-year wait for a male grand slam singles champion.

And while Nadal will be hoping to extend that drought further when they meet at around 8.30am today, the Spaniard is confident Murray will lift one of tennis' four major trophies at some stage.

"He is going to have a lot of chances to win a grand slam and I think he is going to do it for sure," Nadal said. "He has enough results from the past to be confident of a win at a grand slam.

"I don't think Andy has to prove anything. He can win for sure."

Nadal holds a 7-2 win-loss record against Murray but is wary of the Scot after the latter's dazzling displays at Melbourne Park this week, in which he has not dropped a set.

"Playing Andy is one of the toughest matches you can have on the circuit," Nadal said. "To beat him you have to be able to fight at every single moment then see what happens.

"He can play every single shot well.

He serves very well. He can play defence and attack, he has good hands.

"He uses his sliced backhand very well and he's able to change his hands very quickly to play drop shots.

"He has a lot of options in his game and that's a big advantage. We both have our own weapons."

Meanwhile, Roger Federer will play his recent nemesis Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals after he brushed aside local hope Lleyton Hewitt. The Swiss world No 1 produced a masterclass to stun Hewitt, and an expectant capacity crowd at Rod Laver Arena, 6-2 6-3 6-4. Earlier, Davydenko withstood a Fernando Verdasco fightback to progress 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 and set up what could be a spicy encounter. …

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