Murray renews Federer rivalry

Andy Murray will renew his rivalry with Roger Federer later on Friday when the pair come face-to-face at the quarter-final stage of the Cincinnati Masters.

Federer, who needed three sets to beat Gael Monfils on Thursday, is the highest seed left in the tournament following the departure of world No 1 Novak Djokovic.

The 33-year-old Swiss star has won this event four times but, despite being the world No 3, is without a Masters or Grand Slam title for 24 months.

Murray, meanwhile, has been slipping down the ranking over the past year which is partly due to the three-month absence he endured while recovering from back surgery last autumn.

The Scot has not won any event since he realised his dream of becoming the first Brit in 77 years to triumph at Wimbledon in 2013 and has not even reached an ATP Tour final since then.

Friday's match-up offers both players a great chance to take the title, with the Federer-Murray game easily the pick of the four quarter-finals.

Federer, who sees this week as a massive opportunity to put down a marker ahead of the forthcoming US Open, is hoping for a repeat of their most recent meeting when Murray lost in four sets in Melbourne back in January.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner said: "I played a really good match against him in Australia.

"I know he probably wasn't at 100 per-cent but I personally played a good match. That's how I have to come out tomorrow.\"

As for taking on Murray, who was forced to save two match-points in the previous round against John Isner, Federer added: "I'm happy for him that he's playing well again.

\"He was close against Tsonga last week. That's why I know the danger of this match tomorrow.

\"I think it was a huge match for him to beat Isner. Those are the kind of matches you need to win to get going again. I know I'm in for a tough one."

Regarding his own form, Federer went on: "I thought I returned pretty well against Gael, much better than I have in my previous matches.

"I tried to come forward because the conditions are quite fast here. I think that was a good tactic out here tonight.\"

And he says age is no barrier to good form by adding: "I have a different eagerness today.

"I was a bit more erratic when I was younger. I think I've gotten my act together over the years. I think I'm in a good spell right now.

\"I have a lot of tennis in my legs. I go day by day. I have a great team behind me and a wonderful family. I'm very much at peace with how I need to play."

Murray was delighted at hanging in against the big-serving American Isner describing it \"as a perfect test.

"The US Open is just 10 days away and normally against him you'll see exactly where your game is at," he said.

"I've lost a few close matches over the last few months, so it was important for me to come through.

"I want to play a lot of matches just now. I want to get back to winning events and being in the finals of the big tournaments, and winning matches like today is a big step for me."

Murray and Federer have met just twice during the past 20 months, although the 27-year-old from Dunblane edges a career 11-10 lead over his rival.

The winner of Federer-Murray will take on either Milos Raonic (No 5 seed) or Fabio Fognini (15) in the semi-finals.

The other half of the draw features matches between Stanislas Wawrinka (3) and unseeded Julien Benneteau, and Tommy Robredo (16) against David Ferrer (6)

Watch Federer and Murray this evening on Sky Sports 3. Match scheduled to start around midnight