Wimbledon Day 7 | Murray makes his 10th consecutive quarter-final
Andy Murray made the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the tenth year in a row and confessed: “A lot of people in this country won’t enjoy watching me play.”
The defending champion and world No.1 earned a date with American Sam Querrey by putting Benoit Paire to the sword 7-6 6-4 6-4, his 28th consecutive Grand Slam victory over a French player.
I wanted to see how he was running at the beginning, just to check how he was, but he was feeling 100%. He was running every time on the dropshot. He was putting the ball every time where he wanted. During the point he can run like a rabbit. If you see when he's playing like this, he has no problem if he's 100%. He’s 100 per cent on court. Benoit Paire
And 26th against a Gallic opponent in any competition.
But Murray then confessed his lack of popularity in certain sections of the population while discussing the merits of Britain having two players in the last eight for the first time since 1973 following Jo Konta’s march through in the ladies singles.
The 30-year-old Scot said: “I think it’s great. I think what Jo has done is great. Not just about this tournament, but over the last 18 months, two years, has done great.
“It’s important to have various different role models in the sport, players competing for the biggest events.
“I do think it makes a difference to the interest in the sport, because a lot of people who follow tennis in this country won’t enjoy watching me play. It’s true, you know.
“So it’s great if you have someone like Jo or Kyle (Edmund) or whoever it is, just different players to follow. People like different game styles, different personalities. That’s important. It’s great that she’s doing well. Hopefully she keeps going the next few days.”
He seems to have hit form at the right time. Murray, in front of former world heavyweight champion David Haye, came out fighting to play his best tennis of the fortnight so far.
And boxing fan Murray was delighted Haye and other boxers and sports folk were there to witness it. He said: “I knew some of the boxers that were there. I’ve met them quite a few times. Been to some of their fights. Stay in touch with them a bit during the year. It’s nice when people from other sports come to enjoy your one. It’s cool.”
Murray cites his victory over Paire in Monte Carlo last year as helping to spark a run to the Wimbledon, Olympic, ATP World Tour finals crowns and top spot in the rankings.
And the Frenchman just might have done the same thing again in terms of this year’s Wimbledon.
After a tight first set, Murray was moving well with his opponent describing him as being “like a rabbit”. He certainly showed no sign of physical problems, having been troubled by his left hip
Also Murray was also seeing the ball like a football, hitting it sweetly, although he was helped by Paire blowing hot and cold.
Murray said: “I’m moving well. I didn’t feel like I moved that well against Fabio (Fognini). But the first two matches and today, I felt like I moved really good. I certainly feel like I’ve been tested in that department a lot because the guys I’ve played against have done a lot of forward movements. I’ve been pushed around the court quite a bit.
“One of the most pleasing things about the match was that I felt like I was able to track down a lot of his shots. I came up with some good shots on the run and made it difficult for him to hit loads of winners past me. That’s a big part of my game. If I’m struggling and not moving well, it affects my performance maybe more than other guys who don’t rely on their movement as much.”
Paire believes Murray can win his third Wimbledon title. He said: “He’s in the quarter, he didn’t lose any sets except one against Fognini, he’s No.1
“I wanted to see how he was running at the beginning, just to check how he was, but he was feeling 100%. He was running every time on the dropshot. He was putting the ball every time where he wanted. During the point he can run like a rabbit. If you see when he’s playing like this, he has no problem if he’s 100%. He’s 100 per cent on court.”
Meanwhile, the Marcus Willis Wimbledon Road Show was forced out of town.
Willis and partner Jay Clarke were defeated 6-3 6-4 7-6 in 1hr58min by Austrian Oliver Marach and Croatian Mate Pavic, the 16th seeds, in the last 16 of the men’s doubles.
It came after they stunned defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
Willis shocked the All England Club last year when he made the second round of the singles and faced Roger Federer on Centre Court despite being a £30-an-hour part-time coach and being ranked 772.