Stan Wawrinka upsets U.S. Open defending champion Andy Murray

Stanislas Wawrinka upset the defending champion on Thursday afternoon. Credit: Getty Images
Stanislas Wawrinka upset the defending champion on Thursday afternoon.
Credit: Getty Images

Stan Wawrinka has long played second banana in Switzerland to Roger Federer.

And while one win won’t change their career legacies, Wawrinka is still alive at this U.S. Open, while Federer is long gone.

Playing the match of his life, No. 8 Wawrinka shocked defending champion and No. 3 Andy Murray to the tune of 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on a sunny and breezy Thursday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium to advance to his first-ever major semifinal.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Wawrinka, 28, will meet the winner between No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny. No. 2 Rafael Nadal will meet No. 8 Richard Gasquet in the other.

“I feel amazing for sure, especially here,” Wawrinka told the crowd after he smacked 45 winners against 37 unforced errors and played brilliantly at net, winning 31-of-42 points, often approaching off a well hit one-handed backhand or a crackling forehand.

“He’s the defending champion,” Wawrinka said. “He’s tough opponent but I’m really just happy. It was crazy match for me. To beat him in three sets is just amazing.”

This was Wawrkina’s seventh win this year over a Top 10 player, but none of them came on as grand a stage as this.

Asked if this was the biggest win of Wawrinka’s career, his coach, Magnus Norman, said: “Yes, absolutely. If you look at the stage, Grand Slam quarters, first time for him in the semis, so abolutely.”

It was a measure of Wawrinka’s dominance over the reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and Olympic champion that he never faced a break point all match.

“He played great,” Murray said. “He hit big shots. He passed extremely well. He hit a lot of lines on big points. He served well. That was it. He played a great match.”

If Wawrinka faces Djokovic in the semifinals, he can take confidence knowing that he pushed him to 12-10 in the fifth set in the fourth round at the Australian Open in January before losing to the eventual champion. Djokovic holds a 12-2 career edge on Wawrinka, but that match in Australia may have changed Wawrinka’s perception going forward.

“I think a lot of things clicked in Melbourne,” said Norman, who began working with Wawrinka in May. “He really felt like he was playing Top 3 in the world and he was still challenging him. And I think he took something positive out of that. And then he’s been building on that for the whole season.”

The match turned early when Wawrinka needed six set points before finally breaking Murray in the 10th game of the first set, when Murray sailed a forehand long.

“I thought he played great,” Murray said. “That was the hardest part of the match — 5-4 game in the first set was [an] important game. I had a chance to close it out; he had quite a few chances. I made a few mistakes.”

“To get the first set was much more better,” said Wawrinka. “I had confidence for the rest of the match.”

After breaking Murray once more in the second set and twice in the third, Wawrinka looked up at the scoreboard as he served for the match at 5-2 in the third and admitted to feeling the pressure.

“A little bit nervous for sure,” he said. “I was trying just to be focused on my game, trying to get focused on what I did for two hours … to be focused on the match and not let him come back.”

Murray didn’t come back and will be deprived of a potential semifinal against Djokovic, whom he beat in last year’s final and in the Wimbledon final.

“But, look, I can’t complain,” Murray said. “If someone told me before the U.S. Open last year I would have been here as defending champion having won Wimbledon and Olympic gold, I would have taken that 100 percent.

“So I’m disappointed, but, you know, the year as a whole has been a good one.”

Asked if Wawrinka had what it takes to contend for the title, Murray was cautious.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I know how hard they are to win. I have reached quite a few semis and finals before I did it. I don’t know the answer to that. You’ll find out in the next few days I guess.”

Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter @AdamZagoria for updates throughout the U.S. Open.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.