By Ann Liguori
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Stanislas Wawrinka, the No. 9 seed from Switzerland who has lived in Roger Federer’s shadow his entire career, now finds himself in the spotlight. The 28-year-old played inspired tennis in ousting defending champion Andy Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to his first-ever Grand Slam semifinals.
Wawrinka dazzled with 45 winners to Murray’s 15. He outplayed Murray from start to finish, rendering Murray defenseless as Murray was unable to come up with any break points in the entire match.
Wawrinka also ended Murray’s streak of four straight majors finals.
It was quite the impressive performance for Wawrinka, who played aggressive tennis from the start. He mixed up his shots, from hitting winners from the baseline to serving and volleying to win points at the net.
It didn’t take Murray long to get frustrated. After losing the first set 6-4 when he netted a forehand, Murray slammed his racquet on the court, breaking it and getting a warning from the umpire.
Most expected Murray to dig deep and come out swinging in the second set, but Wawrinka didn’t let up. He looked like he was putting on a clinic against the Wimbledon champ. Even at the beginning of the third, the expectations were for Murray to rally back and go the distance, but Wawrinka never gave him an opening.
Murray went immediately into the media room after the loss and summed it up:
“I thought he played great,” said Murray. “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.”
As disappointing as the loss is for Murray, he kept it all in perspective.
“I can’t complain,” Murray said. “If someone told me before the US Open last year (that) 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.”
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