Wimbledon: Kate Middleton, Prince William Watch Andy Murray Lose

Andy Murray was the Wimbledon men's champion in 2013.

The Scottish star's quarterfinal exit sets Twitter alight, with some referencing an upcoming independence referendum in Scotland.

LONDON – Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray on Wednesday was knocked out of the tournament via a quarterfinal loss to Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.

Even with Kate Middleton and Prince William cheering him on, the Scottish tennis star lost in straight sets 1-6, 6-7, 2-6.

The cameras at times showed the royals' faces grimacing in shock, with tweets by fans pointing out that especially the prince's reactions told the whole story of Murray's loss.‎

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The match also attracted much social media commentary from fans, with some referencing a September independence referendum in Scotland and how British tennis fans have so far often been united in their support for Murray.

Said one Twitter user: "Scotland are welcome to their independence now and can take Andy Murray." And another one tweeted: "A year after Britain's Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, Scotland's Andy Murray crashes out in the quarters."

Murray's loss is likely to affect the BBC's ratings for the famous tennis tournament in Southwest London. Last year, Murray's final win over Novak D‎jokovic averaged 12.1 million viewers. The game hit the second-highest peak rating ever for Wimbledon coverage on the BBC with 17.29 million people.

"I need to go away and make a lot of improvements," Murray said after the game. "I've played poorly, I need to get in better shape. The younger guys are improving."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai