Andy Murray stunned by Dimitrov in semis

12:36, Jul 03 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Wimbledon fan
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Li Na
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Tennis umpire
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
Wimbledon fans
Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Steph Jones
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
Wimbledon fans
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
Line judge
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon fans
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Wimbledon centre court
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
Wimbledon rain
The Wimbledon logo is seen through raindrops at the All England Club.
Wimbledon rain
Spectators shield under umbrellas on the outside courts as rain disrupts play on day six.
Wimbledon rain
A security guard stands watch as the roof in closed due to rain on Wimbledon's centre court.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland slips over during his singles match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts to winning the third set tie-break during his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in their men's singles tennis match at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Andy Murray
It just wasn't Andy Murray's day as the Wimbledon defending champ was bundled out of the tournament in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
Petra Kvitova
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Lucie Safarova
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Novak Dimitrov
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Novak Dimitrov
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her victory in the Ladies' Singles final against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Novak Djokovic
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia blows kisses to the fans as he celebrates winning the Wimbledon title after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

''Wake up Andy'' - rang out the booming cry of desperation from the crowd.

That plea, and those from 14,999 other centre court fans fell on deaf ears as Andy Murray's 12-month reign as Wimbledon champion was ended by a player who until today had been better known as ''Baby Fed'' or ''Mr Sharapova''.

Grigor Dimitrov stepped out from the shadows of his superstar girlfriend Maria Sharapova as he broke British hearts with a sublime 6-1 7-6(4) 6-2 quarterfinal victory over a rival who had been unbeaten at the All England Club since 2012.

Grigor Dimitrov
UPSET CITY: Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov reacts after winning match-point against Andy Murray.

The third seed had confidently marched into the last eight without dropping a set, but his meek abdication early today left the crowd, which included Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, stunned into silence.

The Scot, 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, raised false hopes of a fightback in the second and was simply outclassed in the third.

''He was the better player from start to finish,'' Murray summed up after Dimitrov ended his 17-match winning steak at the All England Club which included an Olympic gold medal.

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Such was the quality of the exquisite winners flying off Dimitrov's racket, Murray might have thought he was on the receiving end of a Roger Federer masterclass.

But whereas Dimitrov once revelled in the comparisons with the seven-times Wimbledon champion, and the ''Baby Fed'' tag, he became his own man today by showcasing a breathtaking arsenal of weapons that left Murray down and out.

NOTHING EXTRAORDINARY

Asked if he was taken aback with the manner of his no-nonsense victory, Dimitrov fired back: ''Why would I have to be surprised? There was nothing extraordinary, if I may say so.''

His excitement at becoming the first Bulgarian man to reach the last four of a grand slam was also rather muted. There were no roars, no falling to the knees, no exaggerated fist pumps in the direction of his coach Roger Rasheed.

He simply tilted his head back and blew a kiss to the heavens above and left a deflated Murray to reflect on a day when nothing went his way.

''Today was a bad day. I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren't really there,'' Murray said after failing to reach the last four at Wimbledon for the first time since 2008.

''I think I hit maybe one backhand winner the entire match, which isn't normally what I do, especially on this surface.

''Couldn't seem to get my legs in the right place to hit the right shots.''

The legs certainly appeared to be moving through a vat full of treacle for two agonising hours as a sense of disbelief descended over the All England Club.

From 1-1 in the first set, the twice grand slam champion lost five games on the trot and his frustrations were compounded as he allowed Dimitrov to string together 13 spell-binding points without even getting a look-in.

When the set was all over in a mere 25 minutes, with Dimitrov swatting away a smash following a 21-stroke rally, the Bulgarian even held up his racket apologetically.

Realising that their man was in trouble, the crowd abandoned usual Wimbledon etiquette and began to wildly applaud Dimitrov's errors in the second set.

Unfortunately for them, and Murray, those errors were few and far between with Dimitrov's only blip in the eighth game when he allowed Murray to break back and level for 4-4.

When Murray surrendered the tiebreak with a lunging effort into the net from a Dimitrov volley, radio silence set in.

Hopes that he could launch a fightback from two sets down - as he did at the same stage 12 months ago against Fernando Verdasco - never looked likely as he dropped his serve with a double fault in the sixth game, after which he faded away.

A day after one excited British observer noted that Murray ''has been playing a little bit like God'', Dimitrov proved that he was a mere mortal.

Asked if his girlfriend, the 2004 champion, had any tips for him going forward, Dimitrov grinned: ''She says 'win it'. I think that's a good tip.''

BRITISH DOWNER

It's not been a good year for British sport. First England exited the World Cup in unseemly haste, and now defending champion Andy Murray has left Wimbledon almost as fast.

Worse, nobody was much surprised. Murray's match lasted just three sets.

The huge video screen watched by thousands at Wimbledon flashed Twitter comments showing local fans and the rest of the world agreed Murray would lose.

''We're huge Murray fans, but he wasn't playing his best,'' Caroline Sugden of Leicester, England, said after the British champ's defeat.

Prince William and and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, watched from the Royal Box on Centre Court, but Sugden and her daughter left their seats on Court No 1 to join the crowd on ''the Hill'', the epicentre of support for British players in the tournament.

''We've sat here many times and watched him, we've eaten Murray Mints and all the rest to help, but at the end of the day I think he was well beaten today,'' Sugden said.

Lee Williams, a DJ from Reading, England, perched on ''the Hill'' with his wife Claire, a pharmacist, noted that the English invented a lot of the sports in which they have suffered recent defeats.

''We had a good couple of years, with the (2012) Olympics, winning gold, and the year after that winning Wimbledon, so we just take off the rest of this year and there'll be next year,'' Williams said.

There was a logic to that. Murray's exit left no British contenders in the final stages of a tournament that was as English as the strawberries and cream and the Pimm's cup aperitif served there in tanker-load quantities.

''It wasn't like we had this big wealth of players and one of them happened to be the winner,'' said Alastair Sewell, who worked in a church in Scotland and had come down for the day.

''We had Murray, who is good, and everyone knows when he's out, Britain's out.''

Which did not come as entirely bad news to two young women seated on a blanket nearby who declined to give their names, but were quick to say - in a low voice - that they preferred Roger Federer to Murray.

''I don't find him exciting as Federer,'' one of them said.

''Like yesterday, when Federer was playing, I was screaming at the screen.''

There may have been a lot more like her in the crowd, ready to switch allegiances to the durable Swiss, a seven-time Wimbledon champ, who was looking in strong form. DJ Williams was among them.

''I'm looking forward to Federer now,'' he said.

''He's like our surrogate son.''

The slope where the crowds assembled to watch the video screen got its original nickname as ''Henman Hill,'' from the years when Tim Henman was Britain's hope at Wimbledon. Then Murray took over, and it was unofficially re-named ''Murray's Mound'' or ''Murray Mount'' - at least until today.

Reuters