After a rousing day of close calls and one big upset, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only former champions left standing at Wimbledon.
Following No. 2 Rafael Nadal’s defeat Tuesday, defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray also fell Wednesday, snapping his 17-match win streak at the All England and Croquet Club.
Murray was vastly outplayed by Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted the Scot in straight sets 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to become the first Bulgarian to ever reach the semifinals of a major.
Normally free of mistakes on grass, Murray committed an uncharacteristic 37 unforced errors, and the 23-year-old Dimitrov was exceptional at the net, winning 20 of his 22 attempts.
In their first three career matches, Murray had never dropped a set to Dimitrov, but he’s now lost two straight meetings, including in Acapulco back in February.
Murray’s loss extends the drought of back-to-back Wimbledon champs. No men’s singles player has completed the feat since Federer won his fifth straight in 2007.
Hoping to erase the memory of his second-round exit from a year ago, Federer regrouped after fellow Swiss No. 5 ranked Stan Wawrinka took the first set and challenged in the second, for a 3-6 7-6-6-4 6-4 win at Centre Court.
Wawrinka appeared on point to win just his third match in 16 career showdowns with Federer, but the 32-year-old proved better overall at the net and on break points.
Federer now takes on the winner between Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Canada’s Milos Raonic in the day’s last semifinal. With his four-set win over Nadal, Kyrgios, 19, became the youngest to ever defeat a No. 1-ranked player in a slam.
Only turning pro last year, Kyrgios has never played Federer, but Raonic has lost all four his previous matches against the 17-time slam winner and has taken only one set.
Claiming the first set over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, Djokovic dropped the next two sets only to erase the deficit for a 6-1 3-6 6-7 6-2 6-2 victory at the No. 1 court.
Despite losing out on total winners 42-32, Djokovic was able to take advantage of Cilic’s 48 unforced errors and largely held his serve throughout the match by winning 74 percent of his first serve points.
Likely now the favorite to win his second Wimbledon title and first since 2011, Djokovic next meets Dimitrov, a player he’s beaten three out of four times.