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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…