Brilliant Dimitrov ends Murray's Wimbledon reign
Scot outclassed in straight sets by Bulgarian who now meets top seed Djokovic in the semi-finals
Andy Murray's reign as Wimbledon champion came to a stunning end as Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov clinched a sensational 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Murray had hoped to become the first British man to successfully defend the Wimbledon title since Fred Perry in 1936, but the Scot was completely outclassed in a two-hour masterclass from 11th seed Dimitrov.
The 27-year-old's unexpected exit snapped his 17-match winning streak at the All England Club, a magical sequence which had brought him Olympic gold and a first Wimbledon title, and also ended his hopes of reaching a sixth consecutive semi-final at the grass-court grand slam.
"I'm very disappointed with the way I started. I felt that gave him confidence at the beginning," Murray said.
"I felt fine in the warm-up but got off to a bad start. It's a lot easier for him to settle down when he's two sets up.
"He played a very solid match, making few mistakes and a lot of returns. I just wish I'd made it tougher for him. It wasn't a great day."
Dimitrov, 23, will play top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Friday for a place in the final.
"I am excited and happy to win through in straight sets. It's never easy against Andy in front of his home crowd but today I was fortunate," said Dimitrov.
"I sensed in the warm-up that his game was not at the highest level but I was already confident I could play at a high level and play good tennis."
Only once before had Murray lost a Wimbledon quarter-final - against Rafael Nadal in 2008 - and this was his first defeat against a player ranked outside the top 10 at a grand slam since 2010.
After years of struggling to live up to the vast potential that has earned him comparisons with Roger Federer, this was a thrilling performance from 23-year-old Dimitrov, who finally secured his first win over a top-10 player at a grand slam at the fifth attempt.
Djokovic had some jittery moments under the big-serving onslaught of Marin Cilic before pulling his game together to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2 and take his place in the semi-finals.
Djokovic rattled through the first set in 27 minutes but his towering Croatian opponent grabbed a break of serve in the second, using his big forehand to pummel the six-times grand slam champion.
The pair fought a tight third set before normal service was resumed. Djokovic changed his shoes, upped the pace and raced into his 23rd semi-final.
Agence France-Presse, Reuters