World No 1 edges closer to retaining his title after convincing victory over Frenchman on Centre Court
ANDY MURRAY made it a Paire of Brits in the Wimbledon quarter finals for the first time in 44 years.
Murray’s 7-6 6-4 6-4 victory over Benoit Paire, following Jo Konta’s win over Caroline Garcia earlier in the day, means Britain can party like it’s 1973, when Roger Taylor and Virginia Wade both made it to the last eight.
The world No 1 was not at his best, but he didn’t really need to be.
Fair play to Murray, it is the mark of a champion to win without playing particularly well and he has successfully negotiated four matches against unconventional opponents without too much fuss.
But you had to feel that Paire also did a lot to beat himself. The unforced error count – 44 for him, just eight for Murray – told its own story.
The Frenchman was twice up a break in the first set and kept trying drop shots even when it became clear that Murray would always reach them and more often than not win the point.
And having saved two break points to force a tiebreak, he served his sixth double fault of the set on the way to losing it 7-1.
The erratic Frenchman then lost his serve to love at the start of the second, but just when it seemed Murray would pull away from him, he levelled at 3-3.
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The world No 1 played a great game to earn the right to serve for the set at 5-4 but even then he gave Paire three break back chances, the last of which he failed to take after stopping play when it turned out Murray’s shot had landed on the baseline.
The third set was a curious one. Murray could have broken Paire in the fifth game but failed to convert any of his four chances.
And the Scot had to save a break point against him in the eighth before yet another Paire double fault put him in trouble and this time Murray capitalised.
The final game was a formality, as one more error from Paire sealed the victory.
Speaking after his win, Murray said: “I thought I played well today. Maybe a couple of sloppy service games in the first set.
“He’s not an easy guy to play. He’s got one of the best backhands. Tactics aren’t easy against him.
“Two weeks ago I was resting, so I was little bit concerned. When you’re having issues a few days before a big event it’s a bit worrying.
“I managed it well, I’m playing some good stuff. I’m doing well.”
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