Second seed Andy Murray brushed aside Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to register his 50th Wimbledon match win on Monday and reach his ninth straight quarter-final at the event.
Murray, the 2013 champion, eased to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win and will face French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals.
Murray, who will be playing in his ninth successive Wimbledon quarter-final, leads Tsonga 12-2 in previous meetings.
Tsonga, the French 12th seed, has made the semi-finals in 2011 and 2012.
He needed just 24 minutes to reach the quarter-finals for the fourth time after compatriot Richard Gasquet quit their fourth round match with a back injury.
“Tsonga who is a top grass court player and I’ll need to play very well to win that one,” said Murray, who is on a 26-match winning streak against French players.
“You can learn from the matches that you’ve played against him, see the things that worked well and try to execute that when you play him the next time.”
Murray shrugged off growing expectations that he can win a third major after the shock defeat of top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round.
“Every year I play here it’s the same,” said the 29-year-old.
“It’s not any different this year than it’s been any of the other years I’ve been here.
“I try my best to win my matches, go as deep as possible. I’ve been playing well so far in this event but the matches as you progress get tougher.”
Monday’s eagerly-awaited Centre Court clash against the fiery Australian Kyrgios turned into a disappointing affair.
Kyrgios, the 15th seed who defeated Rafael Nadal at the tournament in 2014, didn’t force a break point on the Murray serve as he slipped to his fifth loss in five meetings against the world number two.
He did manage to save two match points in the ninth game of the third set but was powerless to prevent Murray taking victory with an eighth ace of the contest.
“The first set was very tight. I managed to get the break at 6-5 but it was very tight up to that point,” explained Murray.
“The second set was obviously more comfortable. Nick lost his focus a bit in the middle part of that set.
“But then in the third set, again he served a high percentage but when I was able to get the ball back in play, I was able to dictate a lot of the rallies and I managed to get an early break.”
Murray has yet to drop a set at this year’s Wimbledon.
Kyrgios lambasted his performance as “pathetic”.
His performance brought immediate condemnation from previous champions.
“Kyrgios went through the motions in the second set,” three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe told the BBC.
In his live television commentary, McEnroe had accused the Australian of not trying.
“This isn’t doing the sport any good. What’s he giving? 80%?” said the American who described Kyrgios as having “God-given talent”.
“This is the Centre Court at Wimbledon. You’ve got to give it 110%.”
Kyrgios’s Australian compatriot Pat Cash, the 1987 winner at the All England Club, was equally scathing.
“Sometimes you think about Nick and think he needs some rewiring. I don’t think he is trying sometimes, there’s no doubt about it, but that’s the way he plays,” said Cash.
“People are watching that match and think what’s going on? They might come away from it feeling a bit short-changed.”
Kyrgios, the 15th seed, who was fined a total of $6,500 for outbursts during the tournament, did little to help his case in a moody press conference.
Kyrgios, with a black baseball cap perched awkwardly back-to-front on his head, veered from monosyllabic indifference to outright sarcasm.
“It was a good first set. The rest of the match was pretty pathetic,” was his summary of a match in which he failed to carve out a single break point opportunity on the Murray serve as he slumped to a fifth defeat in five tour meetings with the Briton.
“I think when things get tough, I’m just a little bit soft.
“I mean, I’ve got experience, but it ultimately comes down to just laying it all out there and competing for a long time. I didn’t do that today at all.”
That was about as good as it got.
When told that McEnroe suggested he needs to get a coach to help further his career, he responded: “I don’t know.”
“Do you think you’re applying all you have in your gut and heart to becoming the best pro you can?”
“Is that something you want to address and change?”
“I don’t know.”
Kyrgios was asked if he felt he was at a crossroads in a career which two years ago seemed destined for the heights after he knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“You’re either going to learn from this and become a better player, you said you don’t love the game, or you might just walk away?”
“Walk away from what?”
“From your tennis career.”
“I just lost in the fourth round. I didn’t lose in qualifying. Feel like I’m doing all right. That’s a diabolical question.”
Kyrgios, at least, admitted that sometimes he does not help his game or his increasingly negative image.
“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.”
The Australian was told he needs to count his blessings by former England cricketer James Taylor who was forced to quit the sport at the age of 26 due to a serious heart condition.
“If only he knew how lucky he was to play his sport! But I guess you’ve got to admire his honesty! #child#Wimbledon,” tweeted Taylor.