Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have bowed out of Wimbledon, leaving seven-times champion Roger Federer as the highest-ranked player left in the draw.
Big-serving American Sam Querrey ended Murray’s Wimbledon title defence with another rousing display with a 3-6 6-4 6-7 (7-4) 6-1 6-1 quarter-final triumph.
A year after sending 2015 champion Novak Djokovic packing from the All England Club, Querrey hammered 27 aces and 70 winners past the hobbling Murray to power into his maiden grand slam semi-final.
Murray’s shock loss came on the same day that an upper-arm injury forced Djokovic to abandon his Wimbledon campaign midway through his quarter-final with Tomas Berdych.
The three-time champion retired while trailing the Czech world No.15 and former finalist 7-6 (7-2) 2-0 on Court 1 on Wednesday.
Murray was also hampered by injury, his deteriorating hip injury clearly playing a big part in his demise.
But Querrey’s free-swinging approach ultimately yielded the 29-year-old world No.28 the biggest win of his career.
“I’m still in a little bit of shock myself,” Querrey said.
“I’m just thrilled right now. I didn’t start my best but I just kept with it, kept swinging away and found my groove in the fourth and fifth set.
“This is a dream come true. To be in the semi and to have it be at Wimbledon makes it even more special.”
While Querrey moves on to tackle Croatian seventh seed for a place in the final, Murray is pondering his next move after literally limping out of the tournament.
“The whole tournament I’ve been a little bit sore, but I tried my best right to the end, gave everything I had. I’m proud about that,” said the ailing world No.1.
“I knew I wasn’t going to do any major damage by playing. So obviously wanted to try, if possible, to find a way at the end. Obviously it wasn’t the case.
“I wasn’t getting enough power on my serve to put him in any bother there. So he was dictating all of the points.
“But Sam served great. The end of the fourth set and fifth set, I felt like he hardly missed any first serves. He was acing me pretty much every time.”
Britain’s big hope is unsure when he will play next as he attempts to regain full fitness.
“Obviously I managed to get through a bunch of matches and did okay.
Now I’ll sit down with my team and look at the next step, look a little bit longer term,” Murray said.
“The US Open’s, I don’t know, six, seven weeks away maybe, something like that.
“I’ll sit down with my team tomorrow and come up with a plan for what I have to do next.”
Murray’s came before Djokovic’s first mid-match retirement since the 2009 Australian Open, leaving Federer as the highest-ranked player in the draw.
Djokovic was trailing Czech 11th seed Tomas Berdych – the 2010 runner-up to Rafael Nadal – 7-6 (7-2) 2-0 when he was unable to continue with a painful elbow injury.
Berdych will face Federer next after the great Swiss crushed sixth seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to sail into a record 12th Wimbledon semi-final without dropping a set in five matches.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, ended the run of Nadal’s fourth-round conqueror, Luxembourger Gilles Muller, with a 6-3 6-7 (8-6) 7-5 5-7 6-1 quarter-final victory.