Nadal semi-final looms as Murray prepares for Dolgopolov match

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray is on course for a huge Australian Open semi-final clash with world No1 Rafael Nadal – if he can maintain his serene progress against Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Murray meets the little-known Ukrainian – a surprise winner against fourth seed Robin Soderling – early tomorrow after reaching the last eight with a ruthless 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 dismissal of 11th seed Jurgen Melzer. The Scot is yet to drop a set in Melbourne this year and his expected victory over the world No46 would likely book him a last four date with Nadal, who is aiming to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four grand slams at once.

Nadal ensured his progress with a straight-sets victory over Marin Cilic, and will meet fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

In the women’s draw, second seed Vera Zvonareva and bookmakers’ favourite Kim Clijsters confirmed their places in the last eight.