LONDON, July 2 (Agencies): Grigor Dimitrov may have just well and truly cast off the �Baby Federer� tag after ensuring Andy Murray�s Wimbledon defence went out with a whimper in the quarter-finals to serve notice he is ready to win his first grand slam.
Queen�s champion Dimitrov came of age as he dismantled Murray 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 in just a minute over two hours, handing him his first straight-sets defeat at Wimbledon since 2010�s loss to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
Murray had yet to be truly tested before Wednesday�s meeting and hadn�t even dropped a set at the tournament, though Dimitrov needed just 25 minutes to end that streak on Centre Court.
Dimitrov then pounced to edge a second-set tie-breaker before a double fault from Murray saw him break in the sixth game of the third. As if to emphasise his superiority on the day, Dimitrov broke once again for the biggest win of his career.
He will now meet either top seed Novak Djokovic or Marin Cilic the semi-finals and, should he progress, may well have the chance to break his grand slam duck against the seven-time champion Roger Federer himself.
For now, though, Dimitrov has reached his first ever grand slam semi-final, doing so with a destructive display that Murray simply had no answer to throughout.
In March, Dimitrov came back from a set down to secure his first victory over Murray at the fourth attempt when he beat him at the semi-final stage on his way to triumphing in Acapulco - he became the first man to win titles on all three surfaces this season when he won at Queen�s.
This time the Bulgarian was in front from the off, with only one man in it during the opening set on Centre Court. Dimitrov ruthlessly took both of his break-point opportunities, with Murray winning just 50 percent of his points when he got his first serve in.
The Bulgarian saved a break point in his opening game before Murray found the tramlines with a cross-court backhand to hand him a 3-1 lead.
Dimitrov then broke again to love to move a game from the opening set, before taking his second set point with a simple overhead.
It was the first time Murray had lost a set 6-1 at Wimbledon since his third-round defeat to David Nalbandian in 2005.
Murray then went wide to give Dimitrov his first break-point opportunity in the second set, but this time he couldn�t take it as Murray forced deuce. However, two loose sliced backhands gave Dimitrov a 4-3 lead in the second set, with Murray slamming his racquet down in anger when he got back to his chair.
The defending champion looked to be down and out in the second set, but Dimitrov, who had hardly put a foot wrong all match, gave him a vital break back with two unforced errors at deuce.
With the Centre Court crowd perking up, Murray slammed down an ace for a crucial hold to force Dimitrov to serve to stay in the second set.
The nerves had most certainly crept in and Dimitrov launched a forehand wide before making his first double fault of the match, but Murray bailed him out but smashing a cross shot wide and going long with the Bulgarian holding for 5-5.
Murray then got himself out of trouble by saving two break points and firing down a 130mph ace - his best serve of the match - on his way to another crucial hold.
Dimitrov didn�t wilt, however, forcing the tie-breaker. The pair started by trading mini-breaks but Dimitrov picked Murray off to go 5-4 ahead as the Scot charged to the net before serving out for a two-set lead.
A double fault handed Dimitrov the first break of the third set for a 4-3 lead and Murray gave the Bulgarian two match points on his next service game. Murray saved one with a forehand down the line but buried another in the net as Dimitrov wrapped up the win.