Andy Murray played down growing expectations that a second Wimbledon title was his for the taking after seeing off Nick Kyrgios with equally as little fuss.
The second-seeded Scot’s straight-sets win over his dangerous opponent maintained his standing, following the shock third-round exit of world No.1 Novak Djokovic, as the bookmakers’ odds-on favourite to lift the Challenge Cup again on Sunday.
Murray, who in 2013 beat Djokovic to became the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936, has finished runner-up to the Serbian in both of this year’s grand slams in France and Australia.
But he reached his ninth consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final, hanging on to Kyrgios’s coat-tails for much of a pulsating first set before the Australian lost focus to concede the second and third sets tamely in a 7-5 6-1 6-4 defeat.
Murray has not yet dropped a set – but neither has Roger Federer, who beat the Scot in last year’s semi-final.
The presence of the Swiss seven-times champion looms large on the other side of the draw, which goes a long way towards explaining why the thought of lifting the trophy again has yet to enter Murray’s head.
Describing Monday’s win as “very good”, the Briton said his only focus was on his next match, a quarter-final against French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“I know the next one is a very tough match against Tsonga. He’s a really, really good grass court player, very, very dangerous,” Murray said.
“I’m aware I’ll have to be playing at my highest level to win.”
Kyrgios, who described his performance after the first set as “pretty pathetic”, has now hitched his wagon to the Murray camp.
“I hope (Murray wins)… I hope so, definitely. I think he’s definitely got a great chance,” Kyrgios said.