-- LONDON -- Andy Murray's Wimbledon title defence is over after the world No. 1 suffered a shock quarterfinal defeat to Sam Querrey?on Wednesday.
A clearly hampered Murray fell 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 to the American in a five-set thriller on Centre Court to bow out of the London Grand Slam. Querrey will meet Marin Cilic in a semifinal on Friday.
"I'm really proud. It's an exciting moment," Querrey said. "Not many people get to play tennis professionally, let alone play at Wimbledon, play on Centre Court, play against Andy Murray. It's something that few people get to do, so it's really special."
Murray's preparations for the tournament were hindered by a sore hip and although the 30 year old had previously downplayed the seriousness of the issue, the problem finally took its toll on him against Querrey as he dropped 12 of the last 13 games in the final two sets.?
"The whole tournament I've been a little bit sore," Murray said in his postmatch news conference. "I tried my best right to the end. I gave everything I had. I'm proud about that.
"But it's obviously disappointing to lose at Wimbledon. There's obviously an opportunity there. So I'm sad that it's over.
"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. I wasn't getting enough power on my serve to put him in any bother there. So he was dictating all of the points."
This was Murray's first tour-level loss to an American player since he was beaten by Alex Bogomolov Jr. in Miami in 2011. He will, however, stay top of the world rankings after? Novak Djokovic's later retirement from SW19 through injury.
Murray made a strong start against the No. 24 seed, winning the opening three games before racing through the first set without facing a break point.
However, the top seed suffered a setback in the second as Querrey, 29, settled into his stride, testing Murray with a series of big forehands and clever net play. The Scot's level dropped significantly, particularly on his first serve, before Querrey leveled proceedings with a classy backhand winner.
Two-time champion Murray ensured that his slump did not last long, though, as he broke Querrey at the start of the third. All seemed comfortable for Murray until, at 5-4, the home favourite lapsed and allowed Querrey back in. The British No. 1 regained his composure, though, and dominated the tiebreak to inch ahead.
But the home crowd were silenced once more as Querrey hit back with a double break of serve in the fourth set to force the decider, with Murray clearly suffering issues with his on-court movement.
It got worse for Murray as his opponent raced to a 3-0 lead in the fifth before finally ending Querrey's eight-game streak with a hold of serve. However, by that point, the damage was done, and Querrey kept his nerve to serve out a famous victory and book his spot in the final four.
It is the second successive year that Querrey has dumped out the defending champion and top seed at the All England Club. Last year, he saw off Djokovic in the third round. The Californian is also the lowest-ranked player to ever beat Murray in his 12 appearances at the grass-court major.
Querrey faces another big-server in Cilic next, after the Croatian came through another epic five-setter against Gilles Muller?on No. 1 Court.?
Muller, who knocked out No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, took the opening set but Cilic fought back to clinch a roller-coaster 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 win.
The pair have met twice before at the London Grand Slam -- in 2009 and 2012 -- with Cilc progressing both times in five sets.
"We played few times," Cilic said. "Most of the matches were very tight, quite long, especially here.
"I think Sam played really well this year. Even last year over here in Wimbledon. He's got a big game, you know, potentially that can hurt anyone in the game."