Andy Murray: Jamie Baker backs Scot to beat Nick Kyrgios

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland
Andy Murray
Andy Murray has dropped just one set on his way to the last eight in Melbourne

Andy Murray will have the experience and class to overcome Nick Kyrgios, despite the Australian being spurred on by a "crazy" partisan home crowd.

So says Murray's fellow Scot and former Davis Cup colleague Jamie Baker.

The 19-year-old Kyrgios is the first home player to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for 10 years.

"Andy's the big favourite, definitely," Baker told BBC Scotland. "Kyrgios has never faced anything of this size before."

Baker added: "Okay, he did make the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, but this is his home patch."

The Scot witnessed local fans going "literally crazy" as Kyrgios practiced in Melbourne on Sunday and he predicts it is will be a direct battle between the playing strengths of each on Tuesday - Murray's renowned return against the Australian's big serve.

"I just think Andy is a better player and I think that, if he puts his game on the court, it will come through," he said of Murray, who has reached his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final.

"He's so consistent," he said. "If we do see him have the occasional loss in a regular tour event, but it never happens in a Grand Slam because he's tailored his whole career to peak at these tournaments.

"And, because of that, he's so experienced and it does build confidence tournament after tournament.

"I'm aware of people saying that draws have tended to open up for him in certain Grand Slam events.

"But, if he gets to the quarters and semis every single time, by the law of averages every now and then that's going to happen.

"So he's making his own luck because he's there every time."

Andy Murray signs autographs in Melbourne
The majority of fans will be rooting against Andy Murray, who has never lost to an Australian opponent

Baker found Murray's win over Grigor Dimitrov in the previous round "very impressive".

"It could have been more comfortable than it actually was as well because, although Dimitrov started very well, Andy turned the match around very quickly in the middle of the first set," he said.

"If he hadn't played a loose game in the middle of the second set, I actually think that could have been a very comfortable straight sets win.

"It is always difficult in long matches and Andy says this all the time - if you give away some momentum then it just becomes an absolute dogfight because you give people who are very good players confidence and, once they get that, it is very hard to take it away again.

"But he did come through with flying colours and the most encouraging thing was Andy himself saying that it was the best he's felt physically for a long time."

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