Britain's Andy Murray is convinced that a third grand slam crown could be in the offing as long as he continues to showcase the form which saw him pummel Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios on Centre Court
Murray lived up to his billing as title favourite by crushing Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 to set up a quarter-final clash with French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Scot has reached the last eight at 21 of the last 22 grand slam events he has contested.
“I think if I play the level I’m playing at just now, I give myself a chance in most matches,” said Murray, who has joined Pete Sampras and John McEnroe in reaching nine consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“But the trick is to keep that up, to maintain that level for the whole two weeks. I’ve done a good job of it so far. I do feel like when I’ve needed to in the tournament, I have played some good tennis, and today was one of my better matches, for sure.
“[But] I’m fully aware of how difficult my next opponent is. I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world. If he plays well and I’m not on my game, I can lose that match.”
Kyrgios matched Murray in the opening set but seemed to lose focus in the second from where his challenge faded. The 21-year-old’s performance was heavily criticised by television pundit McEnroe, while 15th seed Kyrgios berated himself.
“It was a good first set. The rest of the match was pretty pathetic,” said Kyrgios. “As soon as I lost the first set, I just lost belief. I think when things get tough, I’m just a little bit soft.”
Defending ladies’ singles champion Serena Williams, meanwhile, backtracked from her on-court assertions that she would sue Wimbledon following a weather-delayed straight sets, 7-5, 6-0, victory, over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
With the score at 5-5 in the first set, Williams was heard to say “If I get hurt, I’m suing” during a conversation with umpire Marija Cicak after suggesting that light drizzle had made the Centre Court playing surface slippery and dangerous.
“You guys, don’t even try me like that,” said Williams in her post-match press conference. “I was in the moment, I was on the court, and what I say on the court, whether it’s smashing my racquet or whatever, it’s in the heat of the moment. I have no plans, no future of suing Wimbledon. Let’s get serious. That’s not what I do, that’s not what I am.”
Williams will face Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her 12th Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday — her third match in as many days.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer thrashed America’s Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 to surge into the last eight and equal Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of grand slam match wins.
Federer’s dismantling of world No29 Johnson was his 306th victory at a grand slam tournament, while the Swiss will now face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the next round.
Tsonga, Murray’s last-eight opponent, progressed from his all-French clash with Richard Gasquet after his opponent quit due to a back injury. Tsonga was leading 4-2, 40-0 when Gasquet opted to call it a day.