Dimitrov set for Murray test

Dimitrov ended Murray’s reign as Wimbledon champion in the quarter-finals last year, beating a subdued Scot in straight sets at the All England Club.

However, the 23-year-old Bulgarian knows Murray was far from his best that day and is braced for a tough battle in the fourth round in Melbourne, with the added incentive of knowing Roger Federer will not be lurking in the quarter-finals after the Swiss star’s shock defeat to Andreas Seppi.

“That day it was not him out there on the court. I think we all know that. I think it’s a different scenario this time,” said Dimitrov, who twice came from a set down to beat Marcos Baghdatis in five sets in the third round.

“It just happened for me on that day to really play good. I used every single mistake that he did. I’m sure in the next round he’s going to be really focused and composed and wants to do everything to stop me.

“I think he has a lot to look forward to. I think adding up the new (coaching) team, I think it’s all fresh. I think it’s going to give him a bit more excitement to compete, which I’m certainly aware of.

“But at the same time, I feel that I’m pretty stable around me as well. I think the only thing I can do is get out there and play my tennis.

“It’s a great match-up for me. I’m always excited to play against him. I always like that kind of challenge. I think physically and mentally I’m ready to play that match and really give 100 per cent.

“We always had good battles. We know how we play, so there’s no secrets out on the court, which in a way is nice to have. At least you know what to expect. I think it’s going to come down to those kind of little moments that we can use.”

Murray has yet to drop a set in Melbourne and needed just over two hours to beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1 6-1 7-5 in the third round.

“It will be a tough match (against Dimitrov) obviously,” said Murray, who won his last match against Dimitrov in the Paris Masters last year.

“He’s played well in the slams the last year or so.

“He’s obviously a talented player. He’s one of the young guys trying to make a breakthrough, so he’ll be motivated. Hopefully I can play a good match and make it tough for him.”