December 19, 2014
Holder Murray crashes out of Wimbledon, Federer marches on
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 today.
The third seed had confidently marched into the last eight without dropping a set, but his meek abdication left the Centre Court crowd, which included Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge, stunned into silence.
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.
Top seed Novak Djokovic, the man Murray beat a year ago to end Britain's 77-year wait for a men's Wimbledon champion, nearly went the same way before restoring order by digging himself out of a hole to beat dangerous Croatian Marin Cilic 6-1 3-6 6-7(4) 6-2 6-2 and set up a clash with Dimitrov.
Roger Federer, meanwhile, finally blotted his copybook by dropping a set for the first time at this year's Wimbledon, before reaching the semi-finals with a 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4 win over fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
It is the ninth Wimbledon semi-final for the 32-year-old seven-times champion, who has been in imperious form on the grass this year, winning at Halle before steaming through five rounds at the All England Club.
Federer, playing his 16th tour match against his Davis Cup team mate Wawrinka, looked listless during the first set before getting into his stride to notch his 14th win over the Australian Open champion.
"It's tough (playing against a friend), Stan played great especially in the first two sets, until he started to really struggle with his fitness," Federer said.
Wawrinka had to play three days in a row after weekend rain caused scheduling problems at the championships. He had also spent and hour and 40 minutes longer on court than Federer.