Crazy Kazaks, unpredictable Germans, flamboyant Italians, eccentric Frenchmen – they are all the same to Andy Murray. The world No 1 has faced an exotic mix of some of the game’s more charismatic figures in his first four matches here and come through each of them with a minimum of fuss.
Benoit Paire was the latest showman to be swept off the Centre Court stage as Murray won 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to secure his 26th win in a row against Frenchmen in tour-level matches and his 28th in succession against them in Grand Slam competition.
Like Alexander Bublik, Dustin Brown and Fabio Fognini in the previous three rounds, Paire had no answer to the consistent brilliance of a player attempting to win his third Wimbledon title.
“I thought I played well,” Murray said afterwards. “Maybe I played a couple of sloppy service games in the first set. But that was by far the best I’ve hit the ball so far in the tournament. I’m really pleased with that.”
In the 66 matches he has played at Wimbledon Murray has never lost to a player ranked lower than No 19 in the world. Paire, the world No 46, never looked like denting that record as the Scot secured his place in the quarter-finals of his home Grand Slam tournament for the tenth year in a row. On Wednesday he will play the American Sam Querrey, who beat Kevin Anderson 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
In the Open era only Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors and Boris Becker have played in more quarter-finals here than Murray, who has also reached the last eight in 24 of the last 26 Grand Slam tournaments he has contested.
There had been times when Murray’s level had dipped against Fognini in the third round, but this time he struck the ball much better against yet another opponent who did not give him any rhythm.
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily