Wimbledon 2014: Andy Murray has got years left - Jimmy Connors
Andy Murray will bounce back from his Wimbledon disappointment and compete for major titles for years to come, says eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors.
On the same Centre Court where he ended Great Britain's 77-year wait for a men's singles champion last year, Murray gave a listless display in the quarter-finals as he was thrashed 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 by rising star Grigor Dimitrov.
In four Grand Slams since his Wimbledon triumph, Murray, 27, has not reached a final and has only got past the quarter-finals on one occasion, although he spent a large chunk of the last 12 months recovering from back surgery.
Although critical of Murray's "flat" body language during the match, Connors backed the Briton to return to the top, even though the would number five will slip further down the world rankings as a result of his defeat at SW19.
"Murray has got years of great tennis left," Connors, who won his last Grand Slam in 1983 at the age of 31, told BBC Sport.
"Winning Grand Slams is different to other tournaments. It's two weeks, with days off, fighting mental battles, fighting physical battles, winning three out of five sets, everything. That's why they are so tough."
Fellow American John McEnroe felt Murray was just beaten by the "hungrier guy" but wondered if the Scot, who asked Amelie Mauresmo to be his coach following the French Open, might decide to give his former adviser, Ivan Lendl, a call.
"I think it would still be possible and possibly profitable for both of them," said McEnroe, who won seven Grand Slams in his career. "Having said that, I would give Amelie more of a chance."
John Lloyd said he was "baffled" by Murray's performance, while Tim Henman, another former British number one, said Dimitrov was a "star who will be around for a very long time".
Read more from Connors, McEnroe, Lloyd and Henman below, plus reaction from the BBC's other top tennis pundits.
Jimmy Connors, two-time Wimbledon champion
"Andy looked a bit flat out there. Once the shoulders shrug and the head falls, that just gives your opponent that little extra lift.
"Sometimes it is how you lose that counts. If you go out there and get hammered but fought to the very end and came out bloody, then you walk off with your head held high.
"It's easy to say from here but when things are not working you should try to do something else. You have to mix some things up. When you are down two sets to love, you've still got to try to figure out a way to win.
"I noticed Murray looking up to his box a lot. Your coach can't help you. You are down there by yourself.
"That's why tennis is so great. It's you against someone who is trying to beat your brains out. That's the fun part of it, to figure out a way to keep that from happening. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."
John McEnroe, three-time Wimbledon winner
"I found it interesting that Dimitrov said Murray was looking tired or flat in the warm-up. It's a classic case of a hungrier guy that wanted it more against a guy who just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, didn't seem to have the energy,
"Dimitrov was totally comfortable from the baseline, which I found amazing. One shot that made all the difference in the world to me - which is unusual in men's tennis now - was the one-handed sliced backhand. It really bothered Murray.
"I've never seen Andy Murray miss more easy balls. Again, how much did it have to do with him having a terrible day and how much did it have to do with Dimitrov?
"I think Mauresmo's done an excellent job coaching other people. There's no reason to suggest she can't do a good job coaching Murray. It would be unfair to her to fire her, because there's nothing you can do right before Wimbledon, when you're trying to defend your title.
"Could I suggest the possible call to Lendl? I wouldn't put it past the two of them. I think it would still be possible and possibly profitable for both of them. Having said that, I would give Amelie more of a chance."
Tim Henman, former British number one
"In his first four matches, Andy's serve was first class, but today he struggled. His first-serve percentage wasn't bad - 61% - but he only won three out of 10 points on his second serve.
"There are two sides to this... Dimitrov came out and controlled it from the word go, winning the first set in 25 minutes. The second-set tie-break was crucial and, at 4-4, he played three great points in a row.
"On the other hand, Andy didn't play at his best. There's not too much to analyse. He didn't play well and his opponent took full advantage."
Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion
"There is a whole load of weight on you as defending champion and I thought Andy did really well in the opening games.
"When I was here defending my title, I just felt so much pressure and I felt like a huge disappointment to me and everyone else when I lost. I was just glad to get that year out of the way.
"Andy did try today, but it just didn't work for him."
John Lloyd, former British number one
"We are baffled by the performance of Andy Murray. You can have bad days but it's strange that his intensity was not higher. At least make your opponent work and put him under pressure but that didn't happen.
"Andy Murray was poor, his body language was poor and he gave up this game too easy. For a player of his standard, who has won two Grand Slams, I am very, very surprised by the way he has gone out."
Mark Petchey, Murray's former coach
"Murray has always had that ability that all great champions have to figure it out and get in their opponent's head. But today, every time I thought it was his moment, he delivered the unforced error.
"Dimitrov's movement at the back of the court was exceptional. Andy said at the French Open that he thought defence was the most important part of the sport and I think he was a bit put off by how well Dimitrov was able to deal with the shots he threw at him."
Nine-time champion Martina Navratilova: "Wow, what an amazing match Dimitrov played today. Outstanding."
Boxer Amir Khan: "Commiserations to Andy Murray. Unlucky."
Former British number one Anne Keothavong: "Wowzers. What is going on at Wimbledon this week?!"
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