Murray beats Kyrgios to reach his ninth quarter-final
Scot wins in three straight sets – but so does seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer
Andy Murray made short work of Australian Nick Kyrgios on Monday evening to advance to the Wimbledon quarter-final for the ninth time in a row.
Kyrgios, an admirer of Murray's growing up, was brushed aside 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 after just one hour and 42 minutes.
"It was a good first set," mused Kyrgios. "The rest of the match was pretty pathetic."
"The first set was very tight," agreed Murray. "I managed to get the break at 6-5. The second set was more comfortable. Nick lost his focus a little bit. I was able to dictate a lot of the rallies."
His demeanour on court certainly impressed the critics. "Murray has been as mentally unflappable as the Dalai Lama after a week on the beach. Only with a considerably bigger serve," writes Simon Briggs in the Daily Telegraph.
"[He] played so well and so ruthlessly that he actually inflicted a nervous breakdown on his opponent."
Murray's next opponent is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who he's beaten eight times in ten matches, including two victories at Wimbledon.
"Everything can happen in tennis," said Tsonga, when asked about the prospect of facing the Scot. "I'm very confident of my capacity to play great tennis and beat players like Andy."
Despite his bullishness, the 31-year-old Frenchman knows he will have to be on top of his game to have any chance of making it to the semi-final. Murray has now lost only 34 games in four matches this tournament and he's yet to drop a set. Monday's victory over Kyrgios was the world No 2's 50th win at Wimbledon.
The 2013 champion described his next opponent as "top-class" and dismissed the idea he was firm favourite.
"Every match is different," he said. "It's an individual sport. If you put in a bad performance, you can easily lose. I need to concentrate on my own form. If I played as focused and as solid as I did today, I have a chance.”
Only Pete Sampras and John McEnroe have reached nine consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals and it's a measure of how well Britain's No 1 is playing that he won in straight sets on Monday against an opponent who was far from overwhelmed by the occasion.
Kyrgios made 30 of 34 first serves, but his strongest weapon still wasn't enough to defeat his rival, whose return game was brilliant.
Inevitably the manner of the victory has led to talk of Murray adding the 2016 title to his CV, speculation the player was quick to quash.
"Every year I play here it's the same. It's not any different this year," he said. "I try my best to win my matches and go as deep as possible.
"The matches, as you progress, get tougher. Tsonga is next, who is a tough grass-court player and I'll have to play very well to win that one."
Also standing between Murray and a second Wimbledon title is seven-time champion Roger Federer. The Swiss legend is now 34 but he showed little sign of his age in humbling Steve Johnson 6-2 6-3 7-5. He now faces 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the quarter-final.
Like Murray, Federer has not dropped a set so far at this year's tournament and sounded relaxed when asked about his chances of winning a record-breaking eighth title.
"I would never have thought I would win the first four rounds in straight sets," he said. "I now need to play my best tennis.
"I have Marin Cilic in the next round," he added. "He brushed me off the court in the US Open a few years ago and I hope to get him back."