Grigor Dimitrov, the 21-year-old Bulgarian tipped as one of the rising stars of tennis, has quit his second-round match at Wimbledon on Thursday.
After being examined by two of the Championships’ medical staff Dimitrov played one more game against Cypriot Marcus Baghdatis and then retired. Baghdatis was ahead 7-5 4-1 when play stopped.
An ice pack was placed on Dimitrov'as neck and his temperature taken before he tried to resume. The match had been in play for 1hr and 15mins on Court 12, which is one of the furthest from the locker-rooms for which Dimitrov headed after his decision to stop.
Baghdatis, 27, whose best result here was a semi-final run as 18th seed in 2006, was mobbbed by autograph hunters when the match ended.
Asked if he said anything to Dimtrov he replied: "I told him to get better. What can I say? It is bad luck for him."
Dimitrov, a former boys' champion at Wimbledon and the US Open, is at Wimbledon for the third time. He was a semi-finalist at the pre-Wimbledon tournament, the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.
Today Dimitrov was up against a skilled opponent who would have given him no quarter under normal circumstances. Dimitrov began confidently enough at the packed court and broke serve in a lengthy eighth game to lead 5-3. But when he served for the set he lost his serve to love and allowed Baghdatis back in.
Baghdatis won a five-deuce 11th game on Dimitrov's serve to lead 6-5 and then served out for the set, ending with an ace after 50 minutes.