SAN DIEGO, September 5, 2013 – Everyone expects a Swiss player in the men’s semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. But not Stanislas Wawrinka. The ninth ranked player defeated Andy Murray (3) of Great Britain in straight sets to reach his first ever Grand Slam semi-final, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Wawrinka hit 45 winners, Murray only 15. Murray became increasingly unraveled as the match progressed. He is known for getting visibily angry with himself when he misses a shot or doesn’t play well. It got a little out of hand as he yelled, gestured, rolled his eyes, and at one point crushed his tennis racket on the court and again on the sidelines, making a true spectacle of himself.
Wawrinka’s countryman and good friend, Roger Federer, who lost in the fourth round, congratulated Wawrinka by text message after his win.
“Today, for sure, it’s my moment,” Wawrinka said.
Although Murray looked like he’d never recover emotionally from his defeat, by the time he reached the post-match news conference he was philosophical about the loss. “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%. So I’m disappointed, but the year as a whole has been a good one,” said Murray.
Wawrinka will play Novak Djokovic in the semi-final. Djokovic had to work a little harder than he had in previous matches against the tough Mikhail Youzhny (21) of Russia. Youzhny is the only player to win a set against Djokovic in the entire tournament. He had the Serb on the run in the third set and the thrilled crowd got behind Youzhny. But it woke Djokovic up and fired him up. Djokovic quickly broke service and never looked back. The final was 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. Youzhny had some fine moments of play during breathtaking rallies with Djokovic, but the Russian couldn’t derail Djokovic.
In the other semi-final, it will be Rafael Nadal (2) of Spain versus Richard Gasquet (8) of France. Most fans hope to see a Djokovic vs. Nadal final, but their challengers are playing the best tennis of their lives.
The other big surprise of the day was in men’s doubles. Twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. needed to win in New York to take all four Grand Slams in a calendar year. But their winning streak ended with a semifinal loss to Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic. The Bryan brothers had won four straight Grand Slam titles in 2012 and 2013 and 28 straight matches in all. They also won an Olympic gold medal in 2012.
In women’s doubles, Serena and Venus Williams defeated number one seeded team Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy. The Williams sisters will play Friday in the semi-final against fifth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
The U.S. Open semi-final schedule is now complete. The women play on Friday. Serena Williams (1) of the U.S. will play Li Na (5) of China on Friday. Na beat Ekaterina Makarova (24) in their quarterfinal match Tuesday. The 83rd seed, Flavia Pennetta of Italy, will play Victoria Azarenka (2).
Saturday, the men play their semi-final matches. It will be Djokovic (1) and Wawrinka (9), then Nadal (2) vs. Gasquet (8).
CBS will air Friday’s TV coverage of the U.S. Open live from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read Ringside Seat in Communities at Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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