July 4, 2016
Andy Murray knows he will have to be at his best if he is to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their quarter-final on Wednesday.
The Scot has beaten his French rival twice before at Wimbledon and will do his best to repeat the feat as he edges closer to a second Wimbledon title.
But after his relatively straightforward victory over Nick Kyrgios by 7-5, 6-1, 6-4, Murray wasn’t about to get carried away by the increasing support for his cause, or indeed weighed down by the growing pressure.
‘Every year here it’s the same, it’s not any different this year but if I don’t play well against Tsonga, if my game is inadequate in any way, I know I can lose the match. I’ll have to play very well to win that one.
‘I will try to remember the things I’ve done well against Tsonga before, what worked before here, but he is a tough grass court player.’
The likeable Frenchman came through early due to an unfortunate injury to his compatriot, Richard Gasquet, who had to retire when 2-4 down, having sustained a strain in that sixth game.
Meanwhile Murray was too tactically astute for Kyrgios, who doesn’t seem to play with so much fire if he actually likes his opponent. Andy admitted that Nick has ‘lost focus’ in the second set in particular.
Comeback king of the day was undoubtedly Milos Raonic, who trailed David Goffin of Belgium before raising his game to win 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The Canadian could hardly believe he was through at the end – and Goffin looked stunned to have squandered his big chance.
Strop of the day came from Serena Williams, who threatened to sue if she sustained an injury because she was made to play on in light rain.
To be fair to the champion, who was superb after a mini-crisis in her first set against Svetlana Kuznetsova, she soon made it clear later that her threat was just ‘a heat of the moment thing,’ that she would not be suing Wimbledon because ‘that’s not what I’m about.’
Serena had needed to break back to stay in the first set after Kuznetsova served for it. But in the end the Williams performance was beautifully destructive against a woman who has beaten her in the recent past. Serena won 7-5, 6-0.
Next up for the American is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. And Williams will be delighted that her elder sister Venus also managed to progress with a battling 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro, despite the 36-year-old losing her first two service games.