Stanislas Wawrinka upset Andy Murray, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, in the quarterfinal of the 2013 U.S. Open in what was a ruthlessly efficient match from the victor.
Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline thought a performance like this from Wawrinka had been a long time in the making.
Out goes Andy Murray. Wawrinka wins 64 63 62 to make his 1st SF. Horrible match from AM but a long time coming for Iron Stan. #usopen— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) September 5, 2013
After watching the match, you never would have guessed Murray was the No. 3 seed and Wawrinka the No. 9. The 28-year-old Swiss star was the clear aggressor from the beginning of the match. He did a great job of going right at Murray with plenty of power rather than let the Scotsman sit back and work the angles.
Perhaps Sean Connery should have passed along to his countryman one of the latest gadgets from Q Branch, for that was the only way Murray could have gotten through to the semifinal.
Service play was the biggest deciding factor in this match.
All Wawrinka needed in the first set was the one break that would give him the advantage and allow him to avoid the tiebreak. He converted only one of his six break-point opportunities, but Murray didn't even get the chance to break Wawrinka's serve, as his opponent was unbeatable on serve.
Sabine Lisicki was clearly impressed.
The No. 9 seed won a whopping 15 of his 19 first-serve points in the first set. He was able to bludgeon Murray into submission when on serve, and then tee off on his opponent's second serve when looking to break.
Murray was not happy after losing the first set, and he took his frustrations out on his racket:
The second set was more of the same. Wawrinka won 12 of his 13 first-serve points, compared to only 10-of-17 for Murray. Murray tried adding a little more to his second serve, but Wawrinka continued feasting. The reigning U.S. Open champion is usually so good on his first serve, which allows him to get the early advantage in the point.
However, Murray's first serve was letting him down, and Wawrinka left no opening with which he could take advantage. It wasn't as if Murray was melting down, either—racket smashing after the first set aside.
But as the match went on, Murray began letting his emotions get the better of him. In the end, Wawrinka was just better on the day.
This highlight from the tournament's Twitter account is a great example of how dominant Wawrinka was.
The Guardian's Jacob Steinberg summed up the performance for Murray.
Murray all over the place.— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) September 5, 2013
Ex-English footballer Gary Lineker thought that the world's No. 3 player could take solace in the success of the Three Lions' Under-21 side.
Murray 2 sets down, but will be comforted by the fact England's U21's are a goal up.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 5, 2013
When Wawrinka broke Murray in the third game of the third set, you knew this match wasn't going to a fourth. Murray had dug himself into too deep of a hole, and his opponent was playing pitch-perfect tennis.
This is the first quarterfinal Murray has lost in a Grand Slam tournament he's played in since the 2012 French Open.
With the win, Wawrinka moves on to the semifinals for the first time in his career, where he'll play the winner of the Novak Djokovic/Mikhail Youzhny quarterfinals match on Thursday night.