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Andy Murray speaks up for Nick Kyrgios and plays down his shoulder worries

Andy Murray is through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the eighth year in a row – and his 16th on the spin in a grand slam tournament – relieved and happy to get past the 6ft 11in Croat Ivo Karlovic in four sets on another day of drama at the All England Club.

While Nick Kyrgios was struggling with unspecified or “external bullshit” off-court problems, as he described it, and a mini-meltdown in losing to Richard Gasquet out on No2 Court, he kept his cool on Centre Court, winning 7-6, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in a little over three hours.

On Wednesday he plays Vasek Pospisil, who came from behind to beat James Ward on Saturday and who dropped the first two sets against Viktor Troicki before winning 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 39 minutes. The young Canadian, who has played three five-setters in a row, later lost in the doubles, partnering Jack Sock against Murray’s brother, Jamie, and John Peers.

Murray interrupted an answer during his post-match press conference to celebrate his brother’s evening victory, witnessed out on Court 12 by their mother, Judy.

The world No3 spared a moment to sympathise with Kyrgios, whose post-match sulking has become an unfortunate sideshow here.

“I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it is to grow up under the spotlight, how difficult it is to have loads of people expecting you to be perfect from a young age,” he said. “I like Nick. I’ve spoken to him away from the court. He’s quite different to how he is on it.

“It’s not easy. He’ll find his way, for sure. He’ll hopefully have good people around him that can help him, people that have experienced being on the tour, guys like Lleyton Hewitt and Pat Rafter.”

Murray dampened concerns about a minor shoulder injury that inconvenienced him during his win over Andreas Seppi. “It feels better. I would have liked to have served a little bit bigger today. I’m still conscious of it, playing with quite a lot of taping on the shoulder. I played for three hours and it feels better than it did three, four days ago, which is positive.”

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