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Murray knocked out in quarters by Dimitrov


By STEPHEN WILSON

LONDON (AP) -- Andy Murray's reign as Wimbledon champion ended Wednesday with a straight-set loss in the quarterfinals to Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, who is making his breakthrough after years of being touted as the game's next top player.

Dimitrov completely outplayed Murray on Centre Court, winning 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Defending Wimbledon Champ Murray Upset

The 11th-seeded Dimitrov broke Murray five times - including in the final game - to become the first Bulgarian man to advance to the final four of a major. It was his first victory over a top 10 player at a Grand Slam.

"He was the better player start to finish," Murray said.

Dimitrov will next face the winner of the quarterfinal between top-seeded Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic. In the other quarterfinals, seven-time champion Roger Federer faced fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, and Milos Raonic was up against Nick Kyrgios.

French Open runner-up Simona Halep and Canada's Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the women's semifinals in straight sets.

Murray last year became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. He came into the quarterfinals riding a 17-match winning streak at the All England Club, had not dropped a set this tournament and was bidding to become the first British player to retain the title since 1936.

With Prince William and his wife Kate watching from the Royal Box, Murray fell flat while Dimitrov lived up to his promise on the biggest stage in the game.

"To win any tournament back-to-back, let alone back-to-back on a surface like this which sometimes rests on a few points in a set, it's not always going to go your way," Murray said. "Grass is a tough surface to do it on, but I didn't feel like that had any bearing on my outcome."

Dimitrov's win marked a huge step forward for a player nicknamed "Baby Fed" because of a style of play - especially the one-handed backhand - resembling that of Federer. The 23-year-old Dimitrov is also well known for being the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova.

He took the initiative right from the start against Murray and never looked back.

"As soon as we started warming up I sensed that his game was not at the highest level but at the same time I was feeling pretty confident," Dimitrov said. "The first set really helped me get into a good rhythm and then I was just holding my ground throughout the whole match."

The statistics told the story: Dimitrov served 10 aces and had 32 winners and 18 unforced errors. Murray served as many double faults (5) as aces and had more unforced errors (37) than winners (24).

"Today was a bad day," Murray said. "I made many mistakes. I think I had one backhand winner the entire match which isn't normally what I do, especially on this surface. So it was a tough day all around."

After Dimitrov went up a set and a break, Murray made a run in the second set, breaking to make it 4-4. But, at 4-4 in the tiebreaker, Dimitrov took charge by winning the next three points on a cross-court backhand pass, a backhand drop volley and a backhand volley.

"The second-set tiebreak was a key moment for me," Dimitrov said. "And coming into that third set I knew I had a lot of things under control."

Earlier, Halep and Bouchard won easily to set up a meeting in the women's semifinals. Both players are 15-2 in Grand Slam matches this year.

The other semifinal is an all-Czech matchup between 2011 champion Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova.

The third-seeded Halep, down 4-1 in the first set, won 11 games in a row to beat 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-4, 6-0 in 57 minutes on Centre Court.

The 13th-seeded Bouchard defeated No. 9 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at a third consecutive Grand Slam.

Halep is the first Romanian woman to get this far at the All England Club since the Open era began in 1968. Bouchard, who hasn't dropped a set in five matches, is the first Canadian woman to reach the Wimbledon semifinals.

Join the discussion

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Marcia July 02 2014 at 1:08 PM

Not very sad by this news, I must say.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
toddisit July 02 2014 at 1:38 PM

Murray hasn't done much of anything since winning Wimbledon last year, so this was a predictable outcome.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
primussux July 02 2014 at 2:25 PM

I'm not surprised, Dimi has been scaling the heights, and " Aunday" has been sliding. Dimi may achieve super powers due to " ShuggiePova".

Flag Reply +1 rate up
wildinaz July 03 2014 at 2:35 AM

tennis is like golf
BORNING WATCH! AND NOT A REAL SPORT!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
liondog96 July 03 2014 at 3:51 AM

Tennis is NOT like golf. Have you ever heard those tennis balls get smacked around by pros? The top 100 men and women hit those balls like you never heard them hit before.

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jmg62 July 03 2014 at 2:43 AM

Another point - because grass isn't a surface many of these players learn or practice on - when there was a time all Slams were on grass - I've heard a lot of complaining from both women and men about having to play on it and how it "affects their game". Ya know, for all the money they make I'd think if they were told they had to play on an all sand court they'd embrace it for the right price. Spoiled brats - it's not as though ONLY the top players have to play on a different surface - all the players do. Attitudes like there's just make them seem whiney and complainers. Like the blue courts none of them liked because other's won but not them. They're opponents had to play on the same courts - so ease up a bit. Won't be long they'll have passed into history for good, bad or indifferent.

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jmg62 July 03 2014 at 2:36 AM

Man, I wasn't totally surprized with Rafa - but Murray is a bit of a shock. Dimitrov is a evolving player though. He's had some very good wins that have passed under the radar last year the the year before. It's just they hadn't come so deep into a Slam draw. Whatever Andy is doing with Amelie - he should stop it now. That score is pitiful no matter how anyone looks at it.

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longtallsally.susan July 02 2014 at 3:25 PM

I agree, Marcia. I would be tempted to watch it for the sheer pleasure, but I can't bear the f-bombs he drops when things don't go his way. Not very "gentlemanly" and certainly not a gentleman. Which is why those of us "over a certain age" no longer watch Tennis. We remember all to painfully, the antics of another boorish player - John MacEnroe. We refuse to tolerate his voice as "commentator". I've heard many voice the same concerns. I admit, I do watch Serena and Rafal Nadal with the volume muted. ;)

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vobox3343 July 02 2014 at 3:20 PM

Interesting. The Williams sisters lose, and the majority who post this site are gleefully excited. This guy loses, and it's like the worst thing that could possibly happen. Everyone has a bad day and everyone gets older.

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John July 02 2014 at 1:36 PM

Thanks AOL for spoiling the match for those of us that have not yet seen it. Why can't you publish jush a teaser that has to be clicked before showing results like so many of your bullshit stories you publish so that one can choose to NOT know the results untill viewing the match. Idiots!

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