His aim is to obliterate the 25-year-old Olympic champion from Dunblane. There is something scarily robotic and intense about Milos Raonic, the world No.15, a man on a mission to emulate his idol Pete Sampras and serve his way to grand slam success.
The 21-year-old served up no fewer than 29 aces on his way past James Blake in the previous round, as of yesterday had the same number of aces more than anyone else in the tournament, mainly because he tends to regards second serves as merely a second chance to get them.
The Scot's hopes of a maiden major win will be in serious jeopardy against a young man determined to live or die by his own racket and assertive enough about his intentions for him to be described, borrowing from tabloid parlance, as a cocky Canadian or mouthy Montenegrin.
"If I serve well, if I hit the lines, it's tough to get my serve back," said the man, who has a service top speed of 143mph. "It's really him who has to adjust more to me than myself to him. If I'm serving well, I'm hitting my spots, it's about making him feel as uncomfortable as possible. If I serve well, that's what happens."
Players often speak idly about their idols in the sport; Raonic seems to regard his existence as Sampras's second coming.
"The matches most of the time depended on him," said Raonic. "If he's playing well, there's not too much you can do. Also, the serve was a big part of it. Secondly was his demeanour, the way he dealt with situations. It works well for me, bodes well. I try to keep a flat line throughout matches instead of going up and down too much."
As a teenager Raonic had a habit of smashing up his rackets at moments of stress, something which he has just about grown out of now.
"I think I did it once or twice," he said. "But it was more me shooting my mouth. That not only got me in trouble with coaches, parents, everything, but it just didn't help my tennis."
Grand slams have not exactly gone his way as yet – his progress to the last 16 in New York equals his best run in a major tournament, but only after riding his luck in five sets against Santiago Giraldo in the first round.
There have been setbacks too: last year he missed this tournament due to hip surgery, and he lost an epic decisive third set 25-23 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Olympics. Today's match will be "up there" with the biggest moments of his career, although he did win on the only previous occasion he has met the Scot, in Barcelona in April.
The 21-year-old is more than just a big server and feels that Barcelona victory can only come in handy.
"It will help me quite a bit," Raonic said. "The serve gave me a lot of insight into what he likes to do. Before that, you sort of have an understanding but, especially the top-four guys, you give them big respect. It sort of humanises them quite a bit. If I do the things right, I know the opportunities will be there."
"I can do stuff from the baseline," added Raonic, who has already won a couple of hard-court titles this year. "I can do stuff from the net. I can do quite a few different things. I think if it was an issue of me just being able to serve, a lot of opponents would feel no pressure just sort of blocking the return back in the court."
Raonic has been coached by former tour player Galo Blanco since November 2010, and works with Alex Corretja, Murray's former coach. The missile is ready to fire but the Scot's supporters will hope it is off target today.
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