In a disappointingly dipping display at center court, Andy Murray allowed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria to dominate him completely in the quarterfinal on Wednesday. Murray’s downturn in performance was shocking since he had cruised confidently through his earlier four matches. He wouldn’t have regretted the loss so much, if he had maintained his seemingly solid show until yesterday. In nearby No.1 court, top-seed Novak Djokovic also had a scare against Croatian Marin Cilic. After wrapping up the first set easily, Djokovic lost the next two and stood on the brink of elimination. However, helped by a late resolve, the Serb found his composure and clinched the fourth and fifth sets with ease. Roger Federer took four sets against Wawrinka but except in the first set, he found the going easy. In men’s last quarterfinal, Canada’s Milos Raonic ended the dream run of Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios to set up a semifinal clash with 7-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. Another Canadian Eugenie Bouchard disposed of Germany’s Angelique Kerber, Sharapova’s conqueror, on Tuesday. In women’s last quarterfinal Romania’s Simona Halep demolished Sabine Lisicki of Germany in under an hour.
Spectators in the packed center court were witness to an unfortunate withering away of their hero and defending champion Andy Murray on Wednesday. Murray has had a good tournament and the least everyone expected of the Scot was to counter his opponent with confidence. This is not to take the credit away from the relentless Grigor Dimitrov, who played a dominating game from start, taking the first set 6-1. Murray tried a comeback in taking the second set to tie-break but Dimitrov’s decisive finish gave him a 2-0 set advantage. Having already sensed the flatness in Murray’s game, the Bulgarian waited for the defending champion to commit more errors in the third set. With complete control, the 23-year old Dimiytov did not allow Murray any foothold and broke him twice in the third set. The Scot gifted away the match 6-1, 7-6, 6-2 to Dimitrov, when he sent his last shot into the net. Dimitrov will have a fuller test of his caliber against top-seed Novak Djokovic on Friday.
Just as Andy Murray was wilting under pressure on center court, top-seed Djokovic had his own problems against Croatia’s Marin Cilic on court no.1. Though the Serb began with a dominating display in the first set, his concentration was rattled by the high-pitched noise made by the ticketless crowd, watching the Murray-Dimitrov match on the giant screen in nearby Henman Hill. Djokovic lost the second set 3-6 and the third 6-7. As Cilic took a 2-1 set lead, Djokovic found himself pushed in a corner by the forceful Croat. At this point, Djokovic collected himself and like a true champion, raised his game several notches. Returning in the match with a vengeance, the Serb easily took the last two sets and finished with his 10th victory over Cilic, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.
In another quarterfinal, Switzerland’s Roger Federer began by losing the first set to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka. But the 7-time champion would not permit any more pleasure to Wawrinka as he took the second set on tie-break and steamrolled in the next two to finish the match with a deserved 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. Men’s last quarterfinal was Nick Kyrgios’ last match in Wimbledon 2014. The promising Australian, who upset Rafael Nadal on Tuesday; could not emulate the same performance against the highly motivated Canadian Milos Raonic. To Kyrgios’ credit, he played a spirited first set in which he showed why he cannot be discounted in men’s tennis in future. Losing just one point on his serve in the tie-break, Kyrgios took the set to alarm Raonic. But the determined Canadian responded quickly and squared off the score by taking the second set 6-4. Then he went ahead 2-1 on the sets by an even better display. The Australian, however, was not finished yet, as he pushed Raonic into another tie-break in the fourth set. But this was only as far as Kyrgios would progress in the match as Raonic closed the set and the match 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 with an ace, his 39th in the match and 147th of the tournament. Raonic will have his acid test on Friday against Roger Federer.
Simona Halep moved a step closer to the coveted Wimbledon trophy by dismissing Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. After trailing 1-4 in the first set, Halep took control of her game and reeled out 11 points in a row to finish the match 6-4, 6-0 in 57 minutes. The quick and resounding turnaround by Halep left the German stunned and she became a toy in the hands of Halep, who displayed fierce consistency. In the semifinal, Halep will take on Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, who brushed aside Germany’s 9th seed Angelique Kerber in straight sets 6-3, 6-4