Wimbledon - Defending champion Murray shocked by Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov beat Andy Murray 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-2 to send the defending champion crashing out of Wimbledon.

Reuters
Wimbledon - Defending champion Murray shocked by Dimitrov
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Andy Murray (Reuters)

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.

[FEDERER SEES OFF WAWRINKA]

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 fightback in the second and was simply outclassed in the third.

A forehand into the net handed Dimitrov the biggest win of his career and he became the first Bulgarian man to reach the semi-finals of a grand slam tournament.

The result 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.

[DJOKOVIC THROUGH IN FIVE SETS]

The now former champion Murray insisted the better man had won on the day.

"I handled the pressure fine," said Murray. "I started the tournament well and I was playing good tennis.

"This was just a bad day. I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren't really there.

[RAONIC ENDS RUN OF KYRGIOS]

"I started the match badly and I think that gave him confidence. He was the better player from start to finish. It was a tough day all around."

However, Murray insisted he wouldn't be taking too long off before returning to the practice court, though whether he continues his fledgling relationship with Amelie Mauresmo remains open to debate.

After his exit Rafael Nadal insisted he was heading for the beach but Murray isn't the sort to laze around.

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"I need to go away and make a lot of improvements in my game," he added. "I've lost a couple of matches in the last few slams where I've lost in straight sets and played poorly.

"I need to have a think about things and get myself in better shape and work even harder. Everyone's starting to get better. The younger guys are now obviously becoming more mature and improving all the time.

"If I'm going to play better tennis than I am just now, the only way to do that is by working even harder than I have before. Getting in the gym, getting stronger, becoming physically better.

"The only way that I can improve is by getting myself on the practice court and working harder than I have done in the last 12 months. Hopefully that will help."

Dimitrov was delighted after claiming the victory and preventing the British hero from reaching his sixth successive Wimbledon semi-final

"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 .

"As soon as we started warming up I sensed his game was not at the highest level and I was feeling good. I held my ground ... the tiebreak was crucial. I went into the third set very positive.

"It's tough when you know the person well outside the court and you have to face them. I have hopefully two more matches left and I am just focusing on that and trying not to get carried away."

The 11th seed plays Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the final.

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