Rain forces Murray to wait his turn

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray will play his delayed US Open fourth round match today after torrential rain forced play to be abandoned yesterday without a single ball being hit in anger.

The extra day of rest may come as a relief to the fourth seed, who was taken to five sets in his second round clash against Robin Haase, but he now faces four matches in five days if he is to win a first grand slam.

The matches involving defending champion Rafael Nadal and Gilles Muller and three-time losing US Open semi-finalist Andy Roddick and David Ferrer have also been rescheduled to take place today.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the draw Roger Federer is looking forward to renewing hostilities with his Wimbledon nemesis Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after securing a last eight spot in double-quick time.

The Swiss made short work of Juan Monaco at Flushing Meadows on Monday night, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 to ensure a record 30th consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearance.

Federer will expect a tougher test today against Tsonga, the man who came from two sets down to beat the former world No1 in an epic Wimbledon quarter-final earlier this year.

It was the first time in his professional career that the 30-year-old had surrendered a two-set advantage and the five-time US Open champion is anticipating an equally eventful clash against the powerful Frenchman.

He said: “Jo’s a tough player. I’ve had some really good matches against him. They’re always a bit crazy, a bit up and down.

“I’m looking forward to it. He’s an exciting player to watch and to play. I hope I can play as well as I did against Juan, then I’ll give myself a chance.”

While Federer sailed through his fourth round clash, Tsonga was given an altogether tougher time by Mardy Fish, coming from two sets to one down to beat the home favourite.

Tsonga, who also beat Federer in Montreal last month, added: “It’s good to have some wins against him because now Roger knows I’m able to beat him. But every day it’s another day.

“Even if I won two times, I know the third time will be difficult – maybe more than the others – because of that, because Roger knows I can beat him and he will do everything to win this time.”