Slick Murray downs Kyrgios as title expectations grow

Mon Jul 4, 2016 5:35pm EDT
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By John Stonestreet

LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray saw off the mercurial challenge of Australian Nick Kyrgios with little fuss on Monday, before just as smoothly playing down growing expectations that a second Wimbledon title is his for the taking.

The second-seeded Scot's straight sets win over a dangerous opponent maintained his standing, following the shock third round exit of world number one Novak Djokovic, as the bookies' odds-on favorite 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.

On Monday 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 toward explaining why the thought of lifting the trophy again has yet to enter Murray's head.

PASSING THE TEST   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 4/7/16 Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates winning his match against Australia's Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge