Defending champ Andy Murray swept out of US Open - NBC Sports

Defending champ Andy Murray swept out of US Open
September 6, 2013, 4:43 pm

NEW YORK (AP) - Andy Murray smashed a racket, screamed, sulked.

Dispatched in straight sets by his Swiss opponent after some sloppy play, Murray reverted to the guy whose Grand Slam runs end in dismay.

But once it was all over, everything was different. Murray no longer must answer the questions of when he'll win a major title.

The defending U.S. Open champ was upset 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 by ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals Thursday, then put it all in perspective.

"I lost today in straight sets, so that's disappointing," Murray said. "I would have liked to have gone further. But, look, I can't complain. 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."

While Murray insisted he had regained his focus just fine after that historic Wimbledon title two months ago, he acknowledged the mental drain of the last, life-changing 13 months. Simply closing out those final points when he became the first British man in 77 years to win their home Grand Slam tournament. The grueling finals against Novak Djokovic at last year's U.S. Open - a win for his first major title - and this year's Australian Open, a loss.

The 28-year-old Wawrinka reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in his 35th appearance. Afterward, good friend Roger Federer sent him a congratulatory text. For once, Wawrinka is the last Swiss player standing after Federer lost in the fourth round.

"Today, for sure, it's my moment," Wawrinka said.

He played aggressively and didn't face a single break point against Murray, one of the sport's top returners.

Some of Wawrinka's newfound confidence can be traced to the last time he faced Djokovic. He pushed the eventual champion to five sets in the fourth round at the Australian Open to start the year, finally losing 12-10 in the fifth.

"I say many times that it's one of the key of the season, for sure," Wawrinka said. "That was a really tough moment, but at the end, I was really positive with that match because all Australian Open my level was quite good and was better than ever."

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