Andy Murray is sent packing in straight sets by 23-year-old Grigor Dimitrov. The defending champion follows Rafael Nadal out of the tournament. Is this a changing of the guard in men’s tennis?
Murray relinquished his Wimbledon title in three relatively quick sets, 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-2, against Bulgaria’s new star Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th seed.
“I’m disappointed. I played a poor first set – and that gave him confidence. It wasn’t a great day,” Murray said in the post-match interview.
“I had my opportunity to come back in the second set, at the end, but I didn’t get it.
“It’s hard to analyse everything that happened out there right now but he played a solid match, he served well, all the percentages were in his favour.
“I wish I’d made it tougher for him at times.”
Murray had been plain sailing until this point in the tournament, reaching the last eight without dropping a set for the second straight year.
It is the first time in six years he has failed to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
Dimitrov is a major star in his homeland of Bulgaria – known for his love of cars and expensive watches. He is currently in a relationship with Maria Sharapova but once dated Serena Williams who later called him the guy with the “black heart”.
His tennis dark arts undid 27-year-old Murray today, but he seemed surprise at the ease of his passage to the semi-finals.
“I’m just happy I went through in straight sets. I’ve been very fortunate today,” said Dimitrov.
He said: “I sensed [from the warm up] that his game was not at the highest level. I was just holding my ground throughout the match.
“Coming into that third set I knew I had things under control.”
The players are good friends and have practised together in the past.
On his closeness to Andy, he added: “It’s a tough feeling when you know the person well.”
Murray’s exit echoes Rafael Nadal’s downfall at the hands of another fearless newcomer – tattooed Aussie star Nick Kyrgios.
The 144th ranked player is the first person born in the 1990s to beat Nadal – are we seeing a changing of the guard?
Grigor Dimitrov commiserates Andy Murray after beating the defending champion in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. (Getty)