Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defending Wimbledon champ Murray knocked out in quarters by Dimitrov

LONDON — The silence at Centre Court made abundantly clear that Andy Murray's time as Wimbledon champion was coming to a close.

In Wednesday's quarterfinal against Grigor Dimitrov, Murray, who in 2013 ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's winner, sailed a backhand slice long to fall behind by a set and a break. The crowd of nearly 15,000, usually so vociferous in support of Murray, sat quietly.

And when a forehand fell short, the magical ride ended for Murray and his fans with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 loss to the 11th-seeded Dimitrov, who became the first man from Bulgaria to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.

"You can have bad days as an athlete," Murray said. "You don't win all of the time. Sometimes, you just have to take it on the chin and move on."

Murray hadn't lost a set in his first four matches but made 37 unforced errors Wednesday, more than twice as many as Dimitrov.

"Even when I wanted to get into longer rallies, I was missing shots," the third-seeded Murray said. "I was unable to make him work as hard as I needed to."

Dimitrov was broken only once while showing off the all-court game and smooth, one-handed backhand that earned him the nickname "Baby Fed" — as in seven-time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer.

"As soon as we started warming up, I sensed (Murray's) game wasn't at his highest level," Dimitrov said. "The first set helped me get into a good rhythm. The second set tiebreak was a key moment for me. Coming into the third set, I knew I had a lot of things under control."

Friday, Dimitrov faces another past champ, top-seeded Novak Djokovic. He reached the semifinals for the fifth consecutive year by beating No. 26 Marin Cilic 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2.

Djokovic was troubled not only by Cilic, but by repeated slips that prompted him to change his shoes midway through the match. Playing on No. 1 Court, Djokovic also was rattled by intermittent cheering from outside the arena for Murray, whose match was played simultaneously.

"I said to the chair umpire, 'Let's just stop our match, put theirs live on the big screen, and let's watch it 'til they're done,' " said Djokovic, last year's runnerup to Murray.

Federer, the No. 4 seed, was broken and lost a set, each for the first time in the tournament, but beat Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4. His 35th Grand Slam semifinal comes a year after he lost in the second round.

"Last year was rough. I was very disappointed," Federer said. "Went back to the practice courts. Didn't have any options left at that point."

Federer will take on No. 8 Milos Raonic, the first Canadian man in a Grand Slam semifinal since 1923. He beat Nick Kyrgios — the 19-year-old Australian who ousted Rafael Nadal in the fourth round — 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) with the help of 39 aces.

"The goal is to be the best player in the world," Raonic said. "And this is one of those steps that you have to take to keep getting better."

On the women's side, No. 3 Simona Halep beat 2013 runnerup and No. 19 Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-0. Today, she faces No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard, who beat No. 9 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4.

"I stayed very aggressive, very close to the baseline, and I stuck to my tactics," Halep said. "I opened the court very well and used the angles when I could."

Today's other semifinal is 2011 champ Petra Kvitova and No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kvitova is the only woman left who has won a major title.

"It's a normal evolution of things," Bouchard, 20, said. "As the great champions get a bit older, the new ones start coming in."

Dimitrov and Raonic, both 23, would like to see that among the men. This marks the ninth year in a row at least two members of the so-called "Big 4" — Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray — made the semifinals at Wimbledon. That quartet has earned the past 11 trophies.

"The younger guys, we want to come on that stage. We strive for this. I think we're thirsty for that," Dimitrov said. "We want to prove ourselves."

Federer: All-white clothing rule 'too strict'

LONDON — Roger Federer said Wimbledon's enforcement of its all-white clothing policy is "too strict."

There have been complaints from players over the more stringent regulations that include undergarments and amount of colored trim on shirts, shorts, headbands and wristbands.

"It's too strict," said Federer, who in 2013 was told not to wear shoes with orange soles. "But I respect. I understand. Maybe one day they'll loosen up the grip again a bit."

.Today

Women's semifinals

Simona Halep (3) vs. Eugenie Bouchard (13), Petra Kvitova (6) vs. Lucie Safarova (23)

TV: 8 a.m. ESPN

Defending Wimbledon champ Murray knocked out in quarters by Dimitrov 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  2. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]
  3. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

    Blogs

    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  4. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

    Blogs

    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  5. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)