Murray skips past Kyrgios to reach Wimbledon quarters

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Eye on the ball: Andy Murray.

The pressure has not caught up with Andy Murray at Wimbledon after years of learning how to deal with it, but it certainly has left Nick Kyrgios in a melancholic state resembling an existential crisis following their fourth round on Monday.

Murray reached an impressive ninth consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final, recording his 50th career victory at the tournament, with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win against the 21-year-old Kyrgios.

In front of a golf-themed Royal Box that included Jack Nicklaus, Danny Willett, Luke Donald, Shane Lowry, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Chris Wood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, Murray was flawless in his dismissal of the entertaining Aussie, needing just one hour and 43 minutes to wrap up the victory.

At the net, Murray and Kyrgios shared a warm embrace.

“He said ‘sorry’. I said ‘it’s okay, just win the tournament, please’,” revealed Kyrgios later.

A visibly dejected Kyrgios walked into the press room and described his performance in the second and third sets as “pathetic”.

The Aussie had been in a stellar mood with the press through his opening three rounds but cut a depressed figure yesterday after his defeat, admitting he has been unable to fully commit to trying to become the best pro he can be.

“At times, like, I’ve previously said, I don’t love the sport. But I don’t really know what else to do without it,” confessed Kyrgios.

“I obviously like playing the game. It’s a massive part of my life. But, yeah, I don’t know whether – I don’t really know.”

Asked what he feels can give him the right motivation, or pique his interest more in the sport, Kyrgios responded: “I don’t know. To be honest, I woke up this morning and played computer games. Is that the greatest preparation? I don’t know. But it was fun.”

Kyrgios, seeded No15 and making his third Wimbledon fourth round in as many appearances, could not have served any better throughout the opening set, landing 30 out of 34 first serves in but one bad service game at 5-6 proved costly as Murray broke to take a one-set lead.

Murray broke early in the second to open up a 4-1 lead then went up 0-40 for three more chances to break in game six on a Kyrgios double fault.

Kyrgios saved the first two but faltered on the third to go down a double-break. Murray was soon leading by two sets.

The Scot broke for 2-1 in the third and maintained his lead throughout. Kyrgios saved match points and held serve for 4-5 but it only delayed the inevitable as Murray closed it out to set up a quarter-final with French No12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

With Novak Djokovic out of the tournament, the second-seeded Murray is touted as the favourite for the title. Has the pressure been piling on the Scot’s shoulders towards the business end of the event?

“I’ve been dealing with it for years. I feel no different this year to any other year when I played here,” said Murray, who faced zero break points against Kyrgios.

“I think today was very good.  I knew it was a dangerous match.  I was very switched on from the start.  I’m fully aware of how difficult my next opponent is, as well.

“I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world.  If he plays well, I’m not on my game, I can lose that match for sure. So I need to make sure I have a good practice tomorrow, stay focused on that one. Take it one match at a time.”

Murray could tell that Kyrgios switched off after the first set and agreed when asked if the young Aussie needs to work on staying focused throughout matches like that.

On how Kyrgios can work on that, Murray said: “Everyone’s different. It’s about, you know, finding the right people to help you with different things. For some it may be a coach.  For some it might be a psychologist. Sometimes it might be speaking to family about stuff.  There’s not one way of tackling it.

“But if you want to continue to get better, then you speak and listen to as many people as you can, and take onboard the things you think will help you.”

Kyrgios is without a coach and believes it would be difficult to find one that would tolerate his habits.

“I don’t know. Just, like, one week I’m pretty motivated to train and play, I’m really looking forward to getting out there. One week I’ll just not do anything. I don’t really know a coach out there that would be pretty down for that one,” said Kyrgios.

Tsonga spent just 24 minutes on court before his opponent, French No7 seed Richard Gasquet, retired with a back injury while trailing 2-4.

Sixth-seeded Milos Raonic survived a scare against No11 seed David Goffin, fighting from a two-sets-to-love lead before beating the Belgian 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

“I think I allowed him to play too much on his terms.  I was getting a lot of balls in and playing the points and playing maybe better‑looking tennis at the beginning.  I sort of gave up on that and said, I got to play this on my terms,” said the Canadian, who next No28 seed Sam Querrey.

Querrey followed up his huge upset over Djokovic with a straight-sets victory over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

No32 seed Lucas Pouille had a 0-4 record on grass prior to this tournament yet booked a place in the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 win over No19 seed Bernard Tomic in a match that saw them hit a combined 150 winners.

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Wimbledon day seven highlights

Sport360 staff 00:41 05/07/2016
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Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Serena Williams cruised into the Wimbledon last eight on ‘Manic Monday’ as Dominika Cibulkova pondered cancelling her wedding following her shock run to the quarter-finals.

Murray racked-up his 50th Wimbledon match win while Federer reached the quarter-finals for the 14th time as the top two remaining seeds edged closer to a dream title match.

Second seeded Murray, the 2013 champion, eased to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win over fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios and will next face French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Federer went equal with Jimmy Connors’ mark of 14 quarter-finals at Wimbledon and tied Martina Navratilova’s all-time Slam record of 306 match wins by seeing off Steve Johnson of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.


Serena Williams powered into her 12th Wimbledon quarter-final as the defending champion clinched a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.








World number one Williams hit 43 winners and served 14 aces as she won the last nine games on Centre Court to remain on course for a record-equalling 22nd major title and a seventh Wimbledon crown.


The 34-year-old, an eight-time Wimbledon finalist, will next play Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Coco Vandeweghe of the United States.




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Williams sisters advance to Wimbledon quarters

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If one would have to pinpoint the biggest reason why Venus Williams is still around, making grand slam quarter-finals, and perched nicely in the world’s top-eight, the sensible guess would be her brilliant grasp on perspective.

The 36-year-old is back in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since 2010 – she missed the tournament once in between – thanks to a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over No12 seed Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday.

She faces Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova – who famously claimed a golden set against Sara Errani at Wimbledon in 2012 – on Tuesday for a place in the last-four.

Venus turned pro 22 years ago and has an ongoing battle with the energy-sapping autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, yet never complains about her tough journey.

Instead, she has been dropping pearls of wisdom over the past week in her press conferences, choosing to focus on the positive aspects of her career path, while bringing up important topics like gender equality in the sport.

“Being in the quarter-finals is better than the first round. Put it like that,” Venus told reporters on Monday.

“But, like I said, I always want more. I want more out of myself. For sure, I haven’t had an easy road, but a lot of people haven’t. I try not to think about those sorts of things. I try to think about what I can accomplish…

“It’s been a few years (since I made the quarters at Wimbledon). Missed a year or two. But I’ve been here before. I’m not, like, a deer in the headlights.”

The five-time Wimbledon champion had a tough opponent in Suarez Navarro – a player she was 3-3 against in their previous career meetings.

The Spaniard had an early break and served for the first set but Venus struck back to level for 5-5. The American No8 seed led 4-2 in the tiebreak before play was suspended due to rain.

Venus clinched the opening set upon resumption and held her ground to edge through in straight sets.

“The biggest wonderful part of my career has been working so hard and then actually being able to do what you love and actually achieve your dreams,” said Venus, who had to fight through tough three-setters in both her second and third rounds against Maria Sakkari and Daria Kasatkina.

“That is so, so wonderful. Every human needs that, that sense of accomplishment and that sense of, I’ve worked for something and I’ve got it. That’s kind of what we’re here for in some ways.”

Her sister, Serena, stormed into her 12th career Wimbledon quarter-final with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Serena, the defending champion, won the last nine games of the match, which was briefly interrupted due to the rain. Both players argued with the umpire, demanding the Centre Court roof be closed as they feared slipping and getting injured.

Kuznetsova served for the opening set at 5-4 but was broken and the pair were taken off court at 5-5 while organisers shut the roof.

Serena did not lose a game after that.

The 34-year-old credits her coach Patrick Mouratoglou for being able to change things around after a difficult first 10 games. The Frenchman gave Serena the necessary tips during the rain delay and it immediately paid off.

Venus talked about Serena’s intensity on the court and how they compare in that aspect.

“We’re very different because she wears it on her sleeve and I don’t. That pretty much describes it,” said Venus.

Serena’s next opponent is Russian No21 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 6-3, 6-3 winner against last year’s quarter-finalist Coco Vandeweghe.

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