Murray: 'I play my best when I'm not thinking'

Despite concerns of hip pain, the World No. 1 has conceded only one set (Fabio Fognini) en route to the quarterfinal.

Andy Murray eased to the quarterfinal with a straight-sets win.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Defending champion Andy Murray had an easy outing at the Centre Court on Monday as he dispatched Benoit Paire 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to earn a quarterfinal berth.

Despite concerns of hip pain, the world No. 1 has conceded only one set (Fabio Fognini) en route to the quarterfinal. Monday's match against Paire, Murray said, was his best so far in the tournament. 

"I mean, today was by far the best I hit the ball, the cleanest I hit the ball. I was happy about that. Last couple of days, practice has been really good, as well. I didn't feel great during my last match. I didn't feel like I played so well, not loads of rhythm in the first two matches."

The world No. 1 revealed that he plays best when his head is clear of thoughts.

"Actually, I feel like I play my best when I'm not thinking," he said, "I've told many coaches that. I do think that's the case. You're relying on instinct. That's why practice and repetition is extremely important, so when you're out there in a tight moment, you don't want to be overanalyzing, thinking too much. If you are, that's when things start to go wrong, especially technically."

Johanna Konta joined Murray in the quarterfinal after beating Caroline Garcia in three sets. This is the first time in over four decades a man and woman from Britain have reached the quarterfinal.

"I think it's great. I think Jo (Konta) has done -- it's not just about this tournament, but over the last 18 months, two years, has done great," said Murray.

"It's important to have various different role models in the sport, players competing for the biggest events. 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 play. It's true, you know."

The world number one joined Venus Williams in calling for earlier starts to allow two men's and two women's matches on the big show courts, Centre Court and Court One.

The All England Club defended the scheduling, saying the men's big four -- Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic -- were the marquee players that broadcasters and spectators wanted to see most.

"I don't think anyone's suggesting it is fair. I'm not suggesting that it is," defending champion Murray said.

"Ideally you would have two men's and two women's on Centre; potentially starting the matches a bit earlier would allow for that.

"It would be much better if there was four matches."