sport

Melbourne gets tougher - Murray

Andy Murray accepts things are going to get much tougher against Jeremy Chardy in Wednesday's Australian Open quarter-final.

Chardy may not be a household name but his stock is on the rise once again after a disappointing 2011 in which he slipped out of the top 100.

The Frenchman bounced back and now sits 36th in the world rankings after a strong year which included a win over Murray at the Cincinnati Masters.

He possesses a big serve and dominant forehand and the Scot knows anything other than his best could see his Melbourne hopes go up in smoke.

"If you go into a match and you don't play particularly well, you lose to a guy like Jeremy when you play them in the fourth round or a quarter-finals of a slam," said Murray, who beat a battle-weary Gilles Simon in round three yesterday.

Prior to the Cincinnati match, Murray had won their four previous meetings but the third seed knows Chardy's all-or-nothing game means much depends on whether the 25-year-old is hot or cold on the day.

"He can be erratic but when his game is on, like it has been the last few rounds, he's a very tough player to play because he doesn't give you too much rhythm," he said.

"He really goes for it."

Chardy followed up his shock win over sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro with a four-set defeat of Italian 21st seed Andreas Seppi on Monday and Murray has been impressed by his form.

He said: "He's playing good tennis. He's had some big wins this week.

"He serves well, he's very aggressive off his forehand - his backhand is his weaker side for sure. And he likes to come forward."

Chardy is hoping he can build on the win last August in North America and cause another upset.

"I have won against him already so that is good for the confidence when I go on court," he said.

"Last year I played a perfect match against him.

"It will be a very tough match and if I get a chance I will have to take it because Andy is one of the best players."

The right-hander from Pau also knows it will be harder this time in a best-of-five-set event.

"It's tough to win three sets in a row against a big player," he added.

"They have a chance to come back all the time, to change the game."

Chardy has been receiving some additional tips from Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach and partner of Serena Williams, and revealed he enjoyed a pre-season trip to Mauritius where he spent some time on court with the 15-time grand slam champion.

"She's a very nice person," he said.

"I spoke a lot to her off the court and we practised once. Now I understand why she won a lot of easy matches."

Williams has backed her new friend to claim another scalp.

"I think he can do well, he has such a big serve and big forehand," she said. "I'm definitely not a coach but hang in there, he can do it. Why not?"