Murray crashes out of Wimbledon
Published 01/07/2011 | 19:52
Andy Murray's hopes of tennis glory ended when he was knocked out of Wimbledon by top seed Rafael Nadal.
The 24-year-old was bidding to become the first Briton since Fred Perry 75 years ago to lift the coveted trophy. But instead he left SW19 making it three consecutive semi-final defeats at Wimbledon.
Murray began the match in sensational form bolstering hopes of avenging his straight-sets defeat to Nadal at the same stage last year.
He hit the ground running - breaking Nadal's massive serve to take the first set 7-5 cheered on by 6,000 fans on Murray Mount and a 15,000 capacity crowd containing a host of celebrities. Court Two was opened up to 4,000 more fans as SW19 chiefs broadcast the game on its scoreboard screen.
But Nadal, 25, fighting to take his Grand Slam haul to 11, quickly hit back leaving the Scot, supported from the sidelines as ever by his mother Judy and girlfriend Kim Sears, scratching his head.
Murray had twice beaten Nadal in Grand Slams - US Open semis 2008 and Australian Open 2010 - and believed he could force a way back into the contest.
But the Spaniard pressed on in scintillating form, triumphing in four sets and just under three hours. Nadal won 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
Rafael Nadal told the BBC: "Seriously, I feel sad for Andy. "He deserved to be in this final too. It's tough for him to lose this match today but I wish him all the best for the rest of the year, especially for the US Open."
At a post-match press conference, a hugely dejected Murray vowed to bounce back.
Asked what he could do to improve, he said: "Work harder than I ever did before, try and improve my game and get stronger, be more professional. Yeah, try and learn from what happened today."