(July 2, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Grigor Dimitrov ended the run of defending champion Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon, becoming the first Bulgarian man to do so. Dimitrov joins No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and another newcomer Milos Raonic in the semifinals.
The No. 11 seed ended Murray’s 16-match winning streak at the All England club which went all the way back to the 2012 Olympic Games.
“I have very good memories from that court out there,” Murray said. It’s a special court for me.
“Yeah, I mean, you can have bad days as an athlete. You don’t win all of the time. Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin and move on.
“But, yeah, when you don’t feel like you played as well as you can, that’s disappointing and frustrating. Yeah, that’s happened a few times in the slams over the last year, so I’m disappointed about that.”
“I think I got early on in the match on top of him, and I think that really helped me, you know, progress in that way.” Dimitrov said. “I think second and third set was just a little different.
“But, I mean, I can’t say much about the match because I came out to win the match. I was really positive. I was ready. I had a lot of patience no matter how many sets I was supposed to play.
“But I was just composed and I was looking for every point that I had to play.”
On Friday, Dimitrov face 2011 Wimbledon champion in Novak Djokovic who reached the semifinals for a fifth straight year. Top seed Djokovic had to rally to top No. 26 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-2.
On the lower half of the draw, Federer will play No. 8 Milos Raonic, the first Canadian man in a Grand Slam semifinal since the early 1920s.
Federer dropped his first set of the fortnight to Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka en route to a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 win over his Swiss countryman.
“There was a lot on the line today playing against Stan,” Federer said. “Quarters sort of shows the direction on how you’re playing and all these things.
“I’m really pleased to have come through. Like you said, last year was a major disappointment for me because I always see Wimbledon as one of my main goals of the season, side-by-side with rankings and some other highlights that I choose that there are for me.
“I try to be in the best possible shape, so last year was rough. I was very disappointed. Went back to the practice courts. Didn’t have any options left at that point.
“So I’m happy that one year later I’m back in the semis and with a chance to go further.”
In the battle between big servers, Raonic defeated teenager Nick Kyrgios, who beat Rafael Nadal in the fourth round 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Raonic hit 39 aces.
In the women’s quarterfinals, No. 3 Simona Halep beat 2013 Wimbledo runner-up Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-0, and will take on No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard, who beat No. 9 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4.
“It was a great match for me today,” said Halep. “I played really well and I’m really excited that I can play semifinals tomorrow.
“I like this tournament and I feel really well here. I’m looking forward for the next round just to play good tennis and to try my best on court.”
Bouchard has reached her third straight major semifinal.
“I’m excited to be in the semis,” said the 20-year-old. “But, of course, you know, never satisfied, so definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can.
“I think, you know, I played some great players when I lost in the semis. You know, you don’t win every single time. But, you know, I’m going to look forward to try to play a little bit like I played today. I thought I was pretty solid out there and playing the right way on the grass.
“So that’s going to be a key.”
Thursday’s other Ladies’ semifinal will be a battle between two left-handed Czech women -2011 champion Petra Kvitova versus No. 23 Lucie Safarova.