By Amanda Barlow
- Andy Murray  def. Nick Kyrgios  7-5 6-1 6-4
- Faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  in the quarter-final
- H2H: Murray leads 12-3
WIMBLEDON, UK – Andy Murray delivered a veritable masterclass to Nick Kyrgios as he booked his berth in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
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Andy Murray  def. Nick Kyrgios  7-5 6-1 6-4
This had all the hallmarks of a popcorn match. Kyrgios had been his usual ebullient self in the previous rounds, engaging somewhat boisterously (to put it charitably) with the occasional umpire, lines-judge or anyone else in his eye-line.
For the first set he looked as though he was getting the hang of things – it was a competitive set, but just at the end, Murray clicked up the gears, almost as though toying with his prey, to take the first set.
Kyrgios’ troubles began there, as almost immediately he lost focus allowing Murray to ride rough-shod over him, ripping through the second set for the loss of just one game.
It took just one break in the third set, before the first sit-down to break the Aussie’s spirit, as Murray tried to break him for the match, and settled for sealing his place in the quarter-finals with his third match point on his own serve.
Kyrgios was predictably down beat in what has been a tricky time for him in press. Where once he was the darling of the press corp in his breakout year here in 2014, he can be quick to rile, and of course a perfect target for goading.
Murray has had the better of the Aussie now at each one of the Grand Slams and although Kyrgios looked dangerous at times in the first set, the rate at which his level dropped off would have sounded alarm bells for a coach – if he had one.
“The first set was very tight. I managed to get the break at 6-5 but it was tight up to that point,” Murray told BBC Sport, straight after the match.
“The second set was much more comfortable, Nick lost his focus a bit. I was able to dictate a lot of the rallies. 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.”
Kyrgios agreed in his post match press conference, reported in the same article:
“As soon as I lost the first set, I just lost belief. It obviously felt like a mountain to climb after losing the first. He played pretty well, as well. I don’t think he missed too many balls either.”
Andy Murray  v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  – H2H: Murray leads 12-3
Tsonga may well have had the best of it from the pair, having reached just six games in his fourth round match with French No. 1 Richard Gasquet. Having come from a marathon five setter against John Isner, the rest will be welcome.
The stats look good in Murray’s favour – four meetings on grass, two of them at Wimbledon quarter-finals and all have gone the way of the Brit, and in four sets.
The Frenchman has a solid serve, heavy forehands and great touch at the net so expect a lot of good old-fashioned serve and volley. For a big guy he possess great movement around the court, so expect Murray to throw in a lot of variety to move him around.
His weakness can often be his focus, and admittedly that can also be applied to Murray at times, but on reaching the second week he has looked extremely solid in that regard – a lot has been made of his reuniting with former coach Ivan Lendl, but while a lot has been made of the ‘Lendl Effect,’ something has worked – Murray hasn’t dropped a set.
Murray has proved too good for Tsonga in the past, but the Frenchman did mount an outstanding comeback from two sets down, in the previous round.
This will probably be Murray’s toughest test so far – we could almost go as far as saying that he probably was let off the hook by an unfocussed Kyrgios but Tsonga will be eyeing up his third semi-final at Wimbledon, and his seventh overall.
Prediction: Murray in four sets.
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