Andy Murray said a poor start cost him as he lost his Wimbledon title with an error-strewn performance against Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.
The Briton made 37 unforced errors in a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 defeat on Centre Court that took just two hours.
Dimitrov said afterwards he had sensed Murray was not striking the ball well as early as the warm-up.
"I felt fine in the warm-up, but obviously got off to a bad start," Murray responded.
"That was the disappointing part of the match for me. I found a way to get myself back into it at the end of the second set but the start was not good enough. You need to start better.
"When you're playing best-of-five-set matches there's time to come back into it, and I had my opportunity at the end of the second set, but didn't get it."
Dimitrov, 23, dominated after coming through a testing first service game, and said that he had been optimistic following the knock-up.
"I think it's just a feeling," said the Bulgarian.
"I've practised quite a few times with him. I know how he's striking the ball when he's at his best. I know how he's playing when he's not at his best."
Murray had been on a 17-match winning streak at the All England Club stretching back to the London Olympics in 2012, and was looking to reach his sixth consecutive Wimbledon semi-final.
The Scot had impressed in his opening four matches and played down the weight of expectation that always surrounds him at Wimbledon.
"I handled the pressure fine," said Murray. "I started the tournament well. I was playing good tennis. Today was a bad day, from my side.
"I made many mistakes, unforced errors, and then started going for too much and taking chances that weren't really there.
"I think I hit maybe one backhand winner the entire match, which isn't normally what I do, especially on this surface, so it was a tough day all around."
Dimitrov is through to his first Grand Slam semi-final, where he and the Bulgarian is confident he can go further still.
"Why would I have to be surprised?" he said. "It's a good feeling. I'm not going to hide that. It's a great feeling. I'm proud of what I did.
"But it's something that I've worked for, to get on to that stage, come out and switch to another gear. It's a quarter-final match, playing against the defending champion, against a gentleman like Andy. That adds a lot.
"At the same time, it's just another match for me."