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Quarterfinals preview: More Brit history on tap at Australian Open?

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Digital Serve: Australian Open Day 10 (3:55)

Mary Joe Fernandez and Jason Goodall preview Victoria Azarenka-Angelique Kerber and David Ferrer-Andy Murray in quarterfinal action at the Australian Open. (3:55)

Things just seem to be getting better and better for long-suffering British tennis fans. Fresh off this past year's historic Davis Cup victory, they now face the prospect of seeing British semifinalists -- Andy Murray and Johanna Konta -- in the singles draws of the Australian Open.

The last time the Brits had male and female contenders in the quarterfinals was 1977, the year Apple Computer was incorporated.

Here is a look at all of Wednesday quarterfinal matchups:

No. 13 Milos Raonic versus No. 23 Gael Monfils

The question on the minds of many tennis fans -- "Is Raonic for real?" -- was answered with a resounding "Yes!" on Tuesday when the 6-foot-5 Canadian ousted former Australian Open winner and reigning French Open champ Stan Wawrinka.

Paired with his win against No. 3 Roger Federer in the recent Brisbane final, Raonic's efforts make him a de facto No. 2 to Novak Djokovic.

Everyone is glad to see the acrobatic, crowd-pleasing Monfils going deep in a tournament again. At this stage, he might not appear to represent the toughest of potential draws, but he does lead Raonic 2-0, and both of those matches were on surfaces (hard court and grass) that favored Raonic's serve-based game. That's just the kind of thing that can prey on a player's mind when things aren't going smoothly, and Raonic has had trouble keeping up his confidence in big Grand Slam matches.

Unless Raonic has an exceptional serving day, Monfils will get string on enough balls to create opportunities -- that's where the Frenchman will need to come up big, and where Raonic will need to keep his cool. The good news for Raonic is Monfils is on a five-match losing streak against top-20 opponents.

No. 7 Angelique Kerber versus No. 14 Victoria Azarenka

On paper, this is an intriguing matchup despite the disparity in the seedings.

Kerber, 29, is a hard-hitting left-hander and Top 10 regular trying to establish herself as a Grand Slam final-worthy competitor. Azarenka is the 26-year-old two-time Australian Open champion trying to reclaim her former superiority.

Both are on a roll.

But the reality is that Azarenka has a terrific chance to advance. She is 6-0 in career meetings against Kerber and has dropped just two sets along the way. Azarenka does similar things and plays a similar style, only she does everything better.

However, both women are playing peak tennis. Kerber lost a set in her first match versus Japan's Misaki Doi, but has ripped through opponents the rest of the way. Her average time on court has been an hour and 35 minutes - half an hour longer than Azarenka per match, but still impressive.

Kerber has to keep Azarenka from attacking her serve, particularly second serves. And if she can keep up with the furious pace of Azarenka's ground game and take advantage of counter-punching opportunities with her relatively flat shots, she'll have a chance to make her first Australian Open semifinal.

No. 2 Andy Murray versus No. 8 David Ferrer

It would have seemed improbable two weeks ago, but David Ferrer, who hadn't beaten anyone ranked inside the top 50 in his two previous 2016 tournaments, is the only man in the quarters who hasn't lost a set.

The bad news for Ferrer? While his workload has been light, he's a 33-year-old playing a retrieving, rallying style more suited to a college kid. The even worse news? He has lost five straight to Murray and trails 12-6 overall. The recent record includes a four-set Murray win on the red clay of Roland Garros, where Ferrer is most at home and has been a finalist.

Ferrer is good at outlasting opponents, and making them miss. His problem with Murray is that the 28-year-old Scot loves to run and play cat-and-mouse, but also has an inventive mind and a degree of point-ending power that the "The Little Beast" can only envy.

Still, anyone who begins wasting points or giving less than a fully focused effort against Ferrer is likely to find himself in trouble, so Murray needs to make sure he remains on his game and emotionally disciplined.

No. 47 Johanna Konta versus No. 133 Zhang Shuai

The maxim "Revenge is a dish best served cold" surely must be on Zhang's mind. In their last two meetings, Konta knocked Zhang out of the US Open qualifying event in the third and final round, winning 7-5 in the third set each time. Now, here they are, playing for a place in a Grand Slam semifinal.

These are two relatively tall players (at 5-foot-11, Konta is an inch taller than Zhang) who like to give the ball a ride. Among women who have played more than one match in Melbourne, Konta is 11th in first-serve points won (72 percent), while Zhang is an impressive third in the second-serve points won category (an outstanding 59 percent).

Most analysts believe that the latter category might be the best predictor for success, which bodes well for Zhang. But either way, this ought to be a highly entertaining spectacle in which nerves will likely play a critical part.