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Murray, Wawrinka To Meet In US Open QFs

New York, U.S.A.

Wawrinka © AFP/Getty ImagesStanislas Wawrinka reaches the US Open quarter-finals for a second time.

Andy Murray will continue his title defence against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the US Open quarter-finals after recording a hard-fought 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over unseeded Uzbekistani Denis Istomin on Tuesday night.

Murray and Wawrinka have split their previous two meetings in New York, but Murray leads the overall FedEx ATP Head2Head 8-5. Wawrinka won their most recent meeting, dropping just three games to the British No. 1 earlier this year at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

"We practise a lot together," said the Swiss. "We have had some great battles when we play each other. It's usually a tough match, but I like to play him. I like his game. I think if I start well, if I stay with him, I can have some good chance to do something."

Murray needed more than three hours to get by the 65th-ranked Istomin, who was looking to become the first player from Uzbekistan to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. The World No. 3 capitalised on six of his 15 break points, and hit 38 winners to 35 unforced errors.

"I wanted to just try and get through the match," admitted Murray. "In the end it was difficult conditions. It was extremely windy today.

"With the way he plays, he hits the ball pretty big and flat on both sides, strokes pretty low, hard at times to control. He made it very difficult for me. With the way the third set ended up going, I was just very happy to get it done, because he had chances at the end of the third set to go ahead."

The 26 year old, who won the title with victory over Novak Djokovic last year, extends his US Open winning streak to 11 matches.

The ninth-seeded Wawrinka prevailed in a pivotal 70-minute third set en route to a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych. Wawrinka twice failed to serve out the set, and needed to rally from 1-4 down in the tie-break before sealing the two-sets-to-one lead with an ace.

"Today I was really confident with my game, and I was playing really good," said Wawrinka, who improved to a 7-5 mark against Berdych. "I think [it was] my best match against Tomas. It's never easy to play him, but I did a good job. I was feeling really better than him."

Wawrinka advances to the quarter-finals for the second time in nine visits to Flushing Meadows. He reached this stage in 2010, a run that included an upset win over Murray in the third round, before falling to Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian also advanced Tuesday with a five-sets win over past champion Lleyton Hewitt.

The 28-year-old Swiss has an 0-3 mark in Grand Slam quarter-finals, including a loss earlier this year at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal). Wawrinka also took part in a memorable fourth-round battle with eventual champion Novak Djokovic in January at the Australian Open, falling in a 12-10 fifth set.

"He's improved I think this year quite a bit," Murray said of Wawrinka. "He has less weaknesses. He's more experienced now. He has a very good backhand. He serves well. He's solid up at the net. He makes a lot of returns. He makes it very tricky for you. He's a top player. It will be a very tough match for me."

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