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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PHOTOS: Dimitrov crushes defending champion Murray, Djokovic in semis

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Dimitrov crushes defending champion Murray, Djokovic in semis

Last updated on: July 03, 2014 02:15 IST

Wimbledon PHOTOS: Dimitrov crushes defending champion Murray

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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 on Wednesday.

The third seed had confidently marched into the last eight without dropping a set, but his meek abdication on Wednesday 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.

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Image: Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria after their Gentlemen's Singles quarter-final match
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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'It's never easy coming to play Andy in front of a home crowd'

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"I am excited and just happy I got through that match in straight sets. It's never easy coming to play Andy in front of a home crowd and I am just fortunate and happy," Dimitrov said after preventing the British hero from reaching his sixth successive Wimbledon semi-final.

"As soon as we started warming up I sensed his game was not at the highest level and I was feeling good. I held my ground ... the tiebreak was crucial. I went into the third set very positive.

"It's tough when you know the person well outside the court and you have to face them. I have hopefully two more matches left and I am just focusing on that and trying not to get carried away."

The 11th seed will next play Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the final.

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Image: Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria reacts after defeating Andy Murray of Britain
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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Raonic powers past Kyrgios to first semi-final

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Big-serving Milos Raonic powered past Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4) to end the Australian teenager's Wimbledon adventure and book his first Grand Slam semi-final.

The Canadian eighth seed called upon his huge serve to thump down 39 aces, conceding only one break against the 19-year-old upstart who had rocked the All England Club with the previous day's triumph over world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

Both Kyrgios and Raonic, 23, were playing the day after their fourth-round matches, but the Australian's exertions to claim his momentous win appeared to have taken a physical and emotional toll on the youngest player in the men's draw.

Raonic, who reached the last eight at the French Open last month, is the first Canadian to reach the men's semi-finals of a grand slam in the professional era and now faces seven-times champion Roger Federer on Friday for a place in the final.

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Image: Milos Raonic of Canada shakes hands with Nick Kyrgios after their quarter-final match
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Federer drops set on way to semi-finals

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Roger Federer finally blotted his copybook on Wednesday, 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.

Another slight chink in Federer's formidable armour showed itself as he served a nervy game to complete the victory. It took five match points for the 17-times grand slam champion to wrap up the contest, finishing with a big serve and a smash.

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Image: Roger Federer celebrates after beating countryman Stanislas Wawrinka
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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Djokovic stumbles on his way to semi-finals

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Top seed Novak Djokovic suffered some jittery moments under the big-serving onslaught of Marin Cilic on Wednesday before pulling his game together to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2 and take his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The Serbian former champion began efficiently, rattling through the first set in 27 minutes on a sunny but subdued Court One.

Djokovic's intensity dropped in the second set. He slipped and slid in the baseline dust and his towering Croatian opponent grabbed a break of serve using his big forehand to pummel the six-time Grand Slam champion.

The pair fought a tight third set, watched by their celebrity coaches Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic, before normal service was resumed. Djokovic changed his shoes, upped the pace and raced into his 23rd semi-final, where he will meet Andy Murray's conqueror, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

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Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles quarter-final match against Marin Cilic of Croatia
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Bouchard overpowers Kerber to reach semis

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The new golden girl of tennis Eugenie Bouchard reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 6-3 6-4 defeat of Angelique Kerber on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Canadian attacked relentlessly throughout the Court One duel, eventually breaking the dogged resistance of one of the sport's best defenders.

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates after winning her Wimbledon quarter-final match against Angelique Kerber of Germany
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Bouchard survived four break-points

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Bouchard survived four break-points at 3-3 in the opening set and it proved a pivotal moment as she then tucked into Kerber's weak serve in the next game to stretch ahead.

She looked to be racing away with the match when she moved 4-1 ahead in the second but Kerber, who downed Maria Sharapova the previous day, dug deep and came within a point of levelling the set at 5-5 as Bouchard faltered slightly.

The 13th seed responded in style though with a flurry of winners and sealed victory when Kerber hooked a forehand wide.

She will face Romanian third seed Simona Halep in the semi-final, hoping to go one better than at this year's Australian Open and French Open where she fell in the last four.

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Image: Eugenie Bouchard serves
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Halep marches into last four

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Simona Halep continued her impressive season by marching into the Wimbledon semi-finals with a businesslike 6-4 6-0 victory over last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

Romanian Halep, beaten finalist at last month's French Open, has climbed to third in the rankings this year by virtue of career-best results at consecutive grand slams and was in no mood to ease up against the 19th-seeded German.

Lisicki had shrugged off a shoulder injury in her fourth-round victory over Yaroslava Shvedova on Tuesday with no apparent ill-effects and went on the attack with some big serves and ferocious groundstrokes to race into a 4-1 lead.

But Halep showed her mettle to pull back to 4-4. Lisicki seemed to sense she had missed a golden opportunity, allowing the Romanian to give her the runaround from the baseline and reel off the next eight games to seal a place in the last four.


Image: Simona Halep
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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