US OPEN 2013
Wawrinka Ends Murray's US Open Defence
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
“It’s amazing for sure - especially here, especially after that match,” Wawrinka said in an on-court interview. “Andy is the defending champion. He’s a tough opponent. I’m just really happy. It was a crazy match for me. To beat him in three sets is just amazing.”
The ninth-seeded Wawrinka, who had fallen in his previous three major quarter-finals, recorded his seventh Top 10 win since April, beginning with a straight-sets win over Murray at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. On Tuesday, he had defeated World No. 5 Tomas Berdych in four sets in the fourth round.
In the semi-finals, Wawrinka could potentially face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, whom he last met in a memorable fourth-round clash at the Australian Open. Djokovic, the eventual champion, prevailed in a 12-10 fifth set after just over five hours of play. The Serbian faces Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the night session Thursday.
“It's one of the key of the season, for sure,” Wawrinka said of the match. “That was a really tough moment, but at the end, I was really positive with that match because all Australian Open my level was quite good and was better than ever. That's the most important for me. It's when I practise, when I feel I'm playing good tennis, then I know the result will come.”
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There were no break points in the opening set until the final game of Thursday’s first quarter-final, when Wawrinka held six. He broke Murray three more times during the two hour, 15-minute match.
“Normally I can be a little bit nervous and I can lose few games because of that, but today I was just focused on my game,” said Wawrinka. “It was really windy, was not easy condition, but my plan was to push him to be aggressive because I know that Andy can be a little bit too defensive. I like it when he's far back from the baseline, and today I did it well.”
Murray did not earn a single break point for just the second time in a Grand Slam match, previously failing to do so in the 2008 Wimbledon quarter-finals against Rafael Nadal. The World No. 3 finished with 30 unforced errors to 15 winners.
Murray, who also lost to Wawrinka in the third round of the US Open in 2010, said, “I thought he played great. That was the hardest part of the match. 5-4 game in the first set was important game. I had a chance to close it out; he had quite a few chances. I made a few mistakes. But I mean, for the most part I didn't create break point chance, so he served well. He hit a lot of lines, was going for big shots, and he played too well.”
This marks the first time the defending champion has failed to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows since 2004, when Andy Roddick lost to Joachim Johansson in the quarter-finals. Murray had reached the final in the past four majors he has contested, including his historic triumph at Wimbledon this past July (d. Djokovic).
Though his first attempt at defending a Grand Slam title came up short, Murray believed that he “handled it okay” in getting through to the quarter-finals. “It was a new experience for me and something that was good to go through, and I will learn from that for next time.”