Wimbledon 2014: Andy Murray Wimbledon defence broken by Gregor Dimitrov who wins in straight sets

Defending champion simply could not get going against Grigor Dimitrov

Andy Murray's Wimbledon defence came to a miserable end in the quarter-finals at the hands of rising star Grigor Dimitrov.

After the high of last year, when he ended Fred Perry's 77-year reign as the last British man to win the singles title, this was a sad way for the third seed to bow out.

Murray never managed to find anything like his best form while Dimitrov played an inspired match to win 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 and reach his first grand slam semi-final.

How did Prince William react to the defeat?

The defeat ended Murray's 17-match winning streak at the All England Club and was his first slam loss to a player ranked outside the top 10 in four years.

Murray lost his first set of the tournament as Grigor Dimitrov stormed into an early lead in their Wimbledon quarter-final.

Video: Who will Dimitrov play in the semi final?

The defending champion simply could not get going against an opponent playing high-class tennis and the 6-1 scoreline made it the most one-sided set Murray has lost at the All England Club since his debut in 2005.

Murray had reached the last eight without dropping a set for the second straight year but his form had been even better than 12 months ago.

This was the match-up that created excitement when the draw was made - defending champion against tennis' pin-up boy.

Touted as Baby Federer and one half of the sport's glamour couple with Maria Sharapova, Dimitrov has been making headlines on the court over the past year.

Tough Australian coach Roger Rasheed has helped the 23-year-old develop the physical side of his game to go with his exceptional racquet skills.

He made a tentative start to his first Wimbledon quarter-final but Murray was unable to take advantage of a break point and he was made to pay for that in the fourth game.

 

Dimitrov played a terrific return game and broke the Murray serve when he forced the Scot to guide an attempted backhand pass wide.

The Scot was making more errors than he had in his previous four matches while Dimitrov was not missing a beat.

Three more break points arrived for the Bulgarian in the sixth game and he only needed one, Murray putting a forehand into the net.

That left Dimitrov serving for the set and, although Murray saved one set point, the Bulgarian put away a simple smash on the second.

Andy Murray pictured during his defeat to Gregor Dimitrov Andy Murray pictured during his defeat to Gregor Dimitrov  

This was not an unfamiliar position for Murray, who at the same stage last year trailed Fernando Verdasco by two sets before fighting back to win.

Nerves seemed to be coursing through the champion's body, and the crowd feared the worst when he served two awful double faults in the third game of the second set, but he did enough to come through it.

Perhaps the scoreline was not too surprising given their respective seasons - Dimitrov having won three titles, including his triumph at Queen's two weeks ago, while Murray has not made a final since having back surgery last September.

Dimitrov looked so much more confident and he broke for the first time in the set for 4-3.

Murray played his best point of the match to save the first break point but on the second he served a 93mph first serve and then erred with a horrible backhand slice.

Andy Murray pictured during his defeat to Gregor Dimitrov Andy Murray pictured during his defeat to Gregor Dimitrov  

He looked towards his support camp with arms held wide as if looking for answers, and he found them in the next game, with some help from his opponent.

Having been rock solid, Dimitrov's backhand let him down, allowing Murray to level straight away at 4-4.

Centre Court held its collective breath at 30-30 in the next game as the pair pulled each other all over the court in a 31-stroke rally.

Murray won it, and then served an ace to hold, but the pressure was relentless and he needed two big serves to save break points at 5-5.

A tie-break would settle it, and it was Dimitrov who made the first meaningful move with a backhand pass to lead 5-4.

A delightful drop volley gave the Bulgarian two set points, and he took the first for 7-4 as a desperate attempt at a pass from Murray found the net.

Murray had come back from two sets behind to win matches seven times before but against a player playing at Dimitrov's level it was a seriously tall order to do it again.

Gregor Dimitrov celebrates his win over Andy Murray Gregor Dimitrov celebrates his win over Andy Murray  

The 23-year-old's defence had been exceptional, more evidence of the improvements made under Rasheed, who Murray came close to hiring in 2011 before opting for Ivan Lendl.

Things went from bad to worse for Murray when, from 40-15, he lost four points in a row to drop serve at 3-2 behind, ending on a double fault.

He looked a beaten man, and another double fault gave Dimitrov a first match point after exactly two hours.

Murray saved that with one of his best forehands of the match but then netted a forehand to hand Dimitrov an unexpected but thoroughly deserved victory.

Murray sat disconsolately in his chair before trudging off alongside Dimitrov, pausing to bow to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the Royal Box and wave to the crowd, who cheered their fallen hero.

PA

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn