A year ago, it was all so different.

Murray, the man who had cried his way into the nation's hearts after his 2012 final defeat by Federer, dispatched Novak Djokovic in straight sets on to become the first British man to the win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

If the first week of his defense was anything to go by, the expectation was that Murray would reach the semifinal stage at the very least.

He had cruised through his opening four rounds without dropping a set -- a complete contrast to his opponent Dimitrov, who had been forced to scrape and fight through a five-set contest in the third round with Ukraine's Alexander Dolgopolov.

As those with British flags painted on their faces and draped in the Union Jack took their places on Centre Court, a Murray defeat was perhaps the last thing on their minds -- somewhere between a shortage of strawberries and a drought of Pimms.

But after sharing the two opening games, their hero failed -- spectacularly.

Dimitrov won five games in a row to take the first set in 25 minutes and leave those fervent fans in a state of shock.

Those who have followed Murray at Wimbledon over the past few years are used to the rollercoaster nature of his campaigns.

But that famous fighting spirit, that belligerence which makes his such a competitor, appeared to have deserted him.

Even in the second set where he immediately broke back to level at 4-4 after losing his serve, the belief that Murray would then go on and level the match never materialized.

Instead, it was Dimitrov who held his nerve in the tiebreak, winning it 7-4 to take a stranglehold on the tie -- one which he never looked like relinquishing.

And so it proved. Showing little or no sign of being nervous or overawed by the occasion, Dimitrov broke not just Murray's serve -- he broke his spirit.

There was an inevitability about the result and Dimitrov could celebrate when Murray placed his final shot into the net.

"I'm excited. It's never easy coming to play against Andy, especially with the home crowd," Dimitrov told the BBC.

"As soon as we were warming up, I said his game wasn't at the highest level, while at the same time I felt confident. The second-set tie-break was a key moment for me.

"This was one of those days where I was pretty steady throughout the whole match. It's a tough feeling when you know someone outside the court but then you come to play them in the match."

Dimitrov will now go onto face either last year's finalist Djokovic or Croatia's Marin Cilic in the next round.

For those who celebrated Murray's victory last year -- well, they'll just be hoping they won't have to wait another 77 years for their next Wimbledon party.