Andy happy for Johanna to help wave the flag
It is the first time for 44 years that there has been a British male and female in the last eight
Andy Murray is delighted to have another Briton through to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and believes Johanna Konta's breakthrough can help broaden the country's interest in tennis - because some people do not like watching him play.
"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," said Murray following his defeat of Benoit Paire and Konta's victory over France's Caroline Garcia. The World No.1 insisted: "It's true."
Murray said it was "important to have various different role models in the sport, players competing for the biggest events."
He added: "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."
The last time that a British man and woman reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon was in 1973 when Roger Taylor and Virginia Wade reached the last eight.
The only other time it has happened in the Open era was in 1970, when Taylor and Winnie Wooldridge both reached the last eight.
“I think what Jo has done over the last 18 months or two years, not just about this tournament, has been great,” Murray said. “It’s great that she’s doing well. Hopefully she keeps going.”
While Konta’s progress means that Murray is not carrying the whole weight of the country’s expectations on his shoulders, he said that her success had not made life any calmer for him.
“I don’t feel calmer this year than I did in previous years,” he said. “I’m still pumped to get out there regardless of whether there are other British players playing the tournament or not. I’m here to try and do as well as I can. Now that I’m in the quarters, I want to keep going further.”
Murray’s fitness has been questioned during these Championships as he has suffered from a hip problem, but the Scot confirmed: “I’m moving well.
“I didn’t feel like I moved that well against Fabio. But the first two matches and today, I felt like I moved really well. 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. I’ve moved well.
“That was certainly one of the most pleasing things about today’s match, because 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.”
Independent News Service