US Open: Stanislas Wawrinka beats Andy Murray in straight sets to reach semi-finals
Last Updated: 06/09/13 2:40pm
Andy Murray's defence of his US Open crown came to an abrupt end as Stanislas Wawrinka produced a superlative performance to win their quarter-final in straight sets.
Murray never quite got to grips with the blustery conditions in New York but, in truth, it was Wawrinka who blew him away as he recorded an emphatic 6-4 6-3 6-2 success to reach his first-ever grand slam semi-final.
Having edged a hard-fought first set, the Swiss star pulled away and did not face a single break-point on his way to a place in the last four as Murray cut an increasingly frustrated and abject figure.
The defeat was Murray's worst at a grand slam since being beaten by the same player in the third round at Flushing Meadows three years ago.
Such a one-sided contest did not look on the cards as the first nine games of the first set passed without either player genuinely threatening his opponent's delivery.
But that all changed as Murray served to stay in the set at 4-5 and, although the Scot battled well to fend off five break-points, he finally succumbed on the sixth when firing a forehand long and promptly smashed his racket in anger.
Murray was in trouble again at the start of the second set as he let a 40-0 lead slip, but he saved a break-point with a second-serve ace.
But, as he has for much of the event, the Scot frequently appeared agitated and cracked again in the sixth game, three errors giving his opponent the chance to nail a backhand down the line and move into a 4-2 lead.
The British number one at least made Wawrinka serve out the set and the Swiss looked a little nervy, but he clinched it when the third seed put a return wide.
Murray has come back from two sets to love down seven times in his career, but this never looked like being an eighth.
Wawrinka had got better and better, allowing Murray very few free points on his serve and having an answer for everything off the ground.
The Scot was certainly not helping himself with some uncharacteristically poor errors, and it was more of the same in the third game of the third set as a double-fault handed Wawrinka another break.
Having made twice as many unforced errors as winners, the game was all but up for Murray when Wawrinka drilled another forehand winner to break again for 5-2.
That left the ninth seed serving for the match, and a smash brought up a first match point, which he took when Murray netted a forehand after two hours and 15 minutes.