Andy Murray is safely through to the quarter-finals of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships after easily brushing aside Nick Kyrgios in their first grass-court meeting on Monday evening (7 July). The world number two was in imperious form on centre court, reinforcing his position as favourite to claim his third Grand Slam title following the shock early exit of Novak Djokovic with a decisive 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
The first set was a competitive affair, remaining on serve until Murray accepted the last of three break points when Kyrgios volleyed into the net. Such disappointment led to a collapse from the notoriously volatile young Australian, currently ranked at 18 by the ATP, and he dropped the second set in just 26 minutes. He was broken again midway through the third and never looked remotely capable of providing the stern test that many had anticipated.
"The first set was very tight," Murray told the BBC after setting up a quarter-final tie with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who progressed after compatriot Richard Gasquet was forced to retire from their fourth-round tie with a back injury while trailing 4-2 in the first set. "I managed to get the break at 6-5 but it was tight up to that point. The second set was much more comfortable, Nick lost his focus a bit. I was able to dictate a lot of the rallies.
"Every year I play here it's the same, it's not any different this year. 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. You can learn from the matches that you've played against him, but every match is different in an individual sport. if you put in a bad performance you can easily lose so I need to concentrate on my own form. if I remain as solid and as focused as today then I'll have a chance."
Elsewhere, defending women's singles champion Serena Williams advanced to the last eight with a 7-5, 6-0 defeat of Svetlana Kuznetsova. She will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova next after the world number 23 powered past Coco Vandeweghe.
Roger Federer equalled Martina Navratilova's record of 306 Grand Slam singles victories with a comfortable 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 triumph over American Steve Johnson. The seven-time Wimbledon winner, whose route to the final has been made simpler by Djokovic's elimination, is now tied with Jimmy Connors for the most ever quarter-final appearances at SW19 (14). He will meet Marin Cilic next after the 2014 US Open champion moved past Kei Nishikori. He led 6-1, 5-1 before the fifth seed retired due to a rib issue.
Comeback of the day went to sixth seed Milos Raonic. John McEnroe's charge recovered from a two-set deficit to overcome David Goffin 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and will now play Sam Querrey after the latter followed up his surprise win over Djokovic by beating Nicolas Mahut. Lucas Pouille reached the quarters of a major tournament for the first time by outlasting Bernard Tomic in five gruelling sets and lies in wait for the winner of Tomas Berdych-Jiri Vesely.
Back in the women's draw, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska fell in three sets to Dominika Cibulkova. The Slovakian moves on to face Elena Vesnina, who overcame fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 6-1, 9-7. 36-year-old Venus Williams also became the oldest player to reach the quarter-finals for 22 years by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro. Yaroslava Shvedova is her next opponent, having comfortably subdued Lucie Safarova. Finally, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep, the fourth and fifth seeds respectively, will go head-to-head after knocking out Misaki Doi and Madison Keys.