Murray ready to raise his game
Andy Murray is sure he will have little problem in stepping up his performance level for Friday's Australian Open semi against Roger Federer.
Murray has barely broken sweat in advancing to his fourth successive Melbourne semi, although he turned in a much-improved display against big-hitting Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday.
He accepts, though, that he will need to play better still against the 17-time major winner, who tonight came through a tough five-setter against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with a place in Sunday's final at stake.
"I think you have to trust yourself that when you are tested you're going to play better tennis," he said.
"You never know for sure but in the build-up to the tournament I played very well.
"I haven't lost a set here yet so maybe I am expecting to play too well. But I've done a good job so far in this tournament.
"I can't be disappointed with where my game's at and I hope in the next round I play better again."
Having come through a flat, lifeless contest again a fatigued Gilles Simon on Monday, the encounter with Chardy was, at least, competitive.
But US Open champion Murray was never seriously threatened by the world number 36 and came through 6-4 6-1 6-2 in one hour 51 minutes.
He capitalised on Chardy's early nerves - the Frenchman was making his first appearance in the last eight of a major - to race into a 4-0 first-set lead.
Chardy dragged one of the breaks back but could not prevent the Scot from claiming the opener.
And with Chardy's main strengths, his booming serve and crushing forehand, failing to fire, it was no surprise when two more breaks put Murray two sets up and in total control.
Murray has not lost from that position since going down to David Nalbandian at Wimbledon in 2005 - and a comeback never looked likely here as Chardy's game started to disintegrate.
He was broken once more after putting a weak forehand in the net to hand Murray a 2-0 advantage.
The third seed saw another break point chance come and go for 4-0 before Chardy held, but it mattered little as a beautifully constructed point saw Murray surge 5-1 ahead.
There was a minor blip when he failed to serve it out at the first attempt as his concentration wavered, but he promptly won the next game to secure the win and gain revenge for a defeat in their last meeting, at the Cincinnati Masters last year.
"I thought I started the match pretty well," said Murray, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open era to follow up his first grand slam triumph by also winning the next major.
"Then when he got the break back in the first set I got a bit tight.
"He's a tough guy to play against because of the nature of his game and his style. He goes for a lot of shots and he can play a couple of games where he misses and then three, four games when he's hot and makes very few errors.
"But I thought I did a pretty good job throughout the match.
"There were a couple of games I could have done a bit better in, but for the most part it was good."
Chardy was blunt in his assessment.
"I don't think I played too badly today, I played a good match but he was too good for me," he said.
"I tried many things but there was no chance for me."