Grigor Dimitrov broke British hearts by ending Andy Murray’s reign as Wimbledon champion with a sublime and serene 6-1 7-6(4) 6-2 victory in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The third seed had confidently marched into the last eight without dropping a set, but his meek abdication on Wednesday left the Centre Court crowd, which included Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, stunned into silence.
Murray, the man who had sparked wild celebrations around the country a year ago when he became the first home-grown men’s champion in 77 years, appeared to sleepwalk through a one-sided first set, threatened to fight back in the second and was simply outclassed in the third.
"I'm very disappointed with the way I started. I felt that gave him confidence at the beginning," Murray said.
"I felt fine in the warm-up but got off to a bad start. It's a lot easier for him to settle down when he's two sets up. He played a very solid match, making few mistakes and a lot of returns. I just wish I'd made it tougher for him. It wasn't a great day."
A forehand into the net handed Dimitrov, 23, the biggest win of his career and he became the first Bulgarian man to reach the semi-finals of a grand slam tournament.
“I am excited and just happy I got through that match in straight sets. It’s never easy coming to play Andy in front of a home crowd and I am just fortunate and happy,” Dimitrov said after preventing the British hero from reaching his sixth successive Wimbledon semi-final.
The result also ended Murray’s remarkable run of winning 17 successive matches at the All England Club, dating back to the 2012 London Olympics, as he bowed out in two hours and one minute.
The 11th seed will next play either Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic or Croatian 26th seed Marin Cilic for a place in the final.
Murray isn't the only tennis superstar to lose to a youngster. World number one Rafael Nadal on Tuesday made an early exit from Wimbledon after losing to the Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-07-02