Venus Williams, a heavy favorite to win the Wimbledon tournament, met a very disappointing end to her run.
She was beaten and dominated. She was outserved, had more errors, and never seemed to have energy on the court.
She was not beaten in a tough three-set match. It wasn't even a tough two-set match. It was a routine 6-2, 6-2 win for the Bulgarian player who had won only one grass match before Wimbledon 2010.
She had already beaten Williams before, and she came into the match convinced she could win. Williams never seemed to have that confidence.
Pironkova, ranked 82nd in the world, entirely outplayed the second-ranked player in the world.
Williams had 29 errors to only five winners. Her forehand was never there for her and continued to fail her throughout the match. It never seemed likely that she would recover control of her game and stage a comeback.
Pironkova had much better control in her shots and shot selection while Williams tried to use her strength to fight her way out. But the stronger she hit the ball, the more erratic her shots became.
Usually, the Williams sisters are strong at Wimbledon because their strong serves are even more lethal on the quick surface.
Williams, however, never got her serve going. She had more double faults than aces, and Pironkova looked a lot more commanding on her points than Venus did on hers.
Williams won only 58 percent of her first serves while Pironkova won 74 percent of her first serves.
Pironkova had beaten Venus previously four years ago in the 2006 Australian Open. That was in the first round.
This is by far the best result for the Bulgarian player, who has never won a title in the WTA.
Pironkova was such a longshot to win in this tournament that there was no Bulgarian press at the game or at the entire tournament.
Pironkova will next face Vera Zvonareva after she upset Kim Clijsters in the other quarterfinal.