Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon as his title defence was halted by Grigor Dimitrov and admitted: “It wasn’t a great day.”
In a surprisingly flat performance, Murray folded in straight sets against the Bulgarian, losing 6-1 7-6 6-2 on Centre Court in the quarter-finals.
Murray said: “I’m disappointed, especially disappointed with the way I started the match.
“I played a poor first set and that gave him confidence at the beginning.
“In the second set he got tight at the end and it could have gone either way. When he got that set it’s a lot easier to settle down when you’re two sets to love up.
“If I had managed to come back with him having been a break up in that set and got it, maybe I would have been able to find a way back, but it wasn’t a great day.”
Dimitrov suggested Murray had been off his game from the warm-up onwards but Murray disagreed.
“I felt fine in the warm-up,” he said.
“I obviously got off to a bad start so that was the disappointing part of the match for me.
“I found a way to get myself back into it at the end of the second set but the start was not good enough. You need to start better.”
Discussing Dimitrov’s display, Murray said: “It’s hard to analyse everything that happened but he played a very solid match.
“He made very few mistakes, he served well and made a lot of returns.
“All the percentages were in his favour today and he played a very good match.
“I just wish I played a bit better and made it a bit tougher for him at times.
“I’ve been in that situation before, I know what it was like when I was trying to get deep into slams for the first time.
“Mentally it’s not easy and I wish I could have pushed him a bit more.
“To be fair I did a decent job in the first week.
“I started the tournament very well and played some decent stuff.
“Today wasn’t my day unfortunately.”
Dimitrov will now prepare for his first grand slam semi-final.
“I’m excited. I’m just happy to get through that match in straight sets,” said the 23-year-old.
“It’s never easy coming to play against Andy, especially in front of a home crowd.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate today and I’m just happy.
“As soon as we started warming up I sensed his game was not at his highest level but at the same time I was feeling pretty confident and knew I was playing good tennis, so I knew it was going to be a good match.
“The first set really helped me get into a good rhythm and I was just holding my ground throughout the whole match.
“The second-set tie-break was a key moment for me. Coming into that third set I knew I had a lot of things under control.
“Today was one of those days where I was pretty steady during the whole match and I came out the winner.”