Wawrinka topples Murray in US Open stunner
Continuing his stunning success story at Flushing Meadows, Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka toppled defending US Open tennis champion Andy Murray on Thursday to head to the semifinals on Saturday.
Wawrinka, ranked tenth in the world and seeded ninth in tournament, downed the third-ranked Scot in three sets in a quarterfinal shocker at Arthur Ashe stadium.
It was an echo of the third round of the US Open three years ago when the Swiss also beat Murray.
The 28-year-old Lausanne native reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by again defeating the now reigning Olympic and Wimbledon champion, booking a Saturday last-four date against either Russian 21st seed Mikhail Youzhny or world number one Novak Djokovic.
Oddsmakers would make Serbia's Djokovic the likely winner of that matchup, but this has been a US Open full of surprises.
Swiss media noted that Wawrinka's win marks the first time since Marc Rosset qualified for the semifinals at Roland Garros 17 years ago that a player from French-speaking Switzerland had made it to the semis of a Grand Slam tournament.
The victory comes after he upset fifth-ranked Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the fourth round.
"It feels amazing for sure, especially after that match against the defending champion," Wawrinka said.
"It was a crazy match for me to beat him in three sets."
Relentless pressure from Wawrinka, who is deeper than 17-time Grand Slam champion compatriot Roger Federer in a Slam for the first time in his career, led to a Murray meltdown that doomed his repeat dreams.
"He played great — that was the hardest part about the match," Murray said.
"He just hit the ball extremely well," he said.
"He hit a lot of lines, was going for big shots, and he played too well."
A grim-faced Murray set a record for hustling to the interview room, arriving before Wawrinka could even leave the court after the match, the 26-year-old Scotsman's stoic visage a sign of his unhappiness.
For only the second time in 146 Grand Slam matches, Murray failed to manage even a break point against an opponent, and it came on a day when Wawrinka ignored the wind to fire 45 winners, three times Murray's total.
"The first set was not really easy," Wawrinka said.
"It was very windy — we were trying to find the game," he said.
"To get that gave me a little bit of confidence for sure."
Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal and French eighth seed Richard Gasquet will meet in Saturday's other semifinal.