Defending champion Murray out of U.S. Open
Swiss Wawrinka advances to semifinal
Practice made perfect for Stanislas Wawrinka at the U.S. Open.
The Swiss used all his nous to dump his occasional practice partner Andy Murray out of the final grand slam of the season in stunning style.
The world No. 10 ended the defending champion's run in New York 6-4 6-3 6-2 to reach the first grand slam semifinal of his career.
He will face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the last four Saturday.
"It feels amazing," Wawrinka said on court after the match. "The defending champion is a tough opponent and I'm really happy.
"It was a crazy match for me."
Wawrinka had said of his Scottish pal in the build up to the match: "I know his game, he knows my game and at the end of the day our match is completely different [from practice]."
The 28-year-old Swiss guessed his chances of beating the Wimbledon champion would come down to confidence.
Confidence was exactly what Murray appeared to be lacking on a windy Arthur Ashe court.
The Briton was attempting to defend a grand slam title for the first time and the nerves showed.
It was on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows that the 26-year-old had claimed his first grand slam title in 2012 before ending Britain's wait for a homegrown Wimbledon champion in July.
But Murray failed to find his rhythm and smashed his racquet to the ground, mashing its head in the process, when he lost a tight opening set.
There were no more histrionics from the Wimbledon champion as Wawrinka steadily pressed Murray's weaknesses and fired down his fierce forehands to wrap up the match inside three sets.
"I thought he played great," said a downbeat Murray to reporters. "And that was the hardest part of the match.
"I made a few mistakes and for the most part I didn't create a break point chance.
"When it's breezy conditions everyone takes time to feel comfortable but I played poorly. I had a good run the last couple of years and it's a shame I had to play a bad match."
Wawrinka finds himself in a unique position of being the highest-ranked Swiss player left in the men's draw after Roger Federer -- a five-time winner in New York -- went out in the fourth round.
While the higher-profile Swiss star continues to be mastered by his see sawing form, Wawrinka believes he is in the form of his life.
He is eager to see how far his purple patch will take him after joining resurgent Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Spanish favorite Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
Djokovic lost his first set of the tournament but still defeated flashy Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-0 in a match closer than the score indicated.
Djokovic made 45 unforced errors and Youzhny went 0-for-6 on break points in the opening two sets.
"It was important to get the early break in the fourth," the world No. 1 told reporters. "I really felt a big relief and just went for my shots and played great."
The fans in New York would take a repeat of Djokovic's encounter against Wawrinka at the Australian Open in January.
It was one of the matches of the year, as Djokovic rallied to prevail in five sets and five hours.
In the women's semifinals Friday, defending champion Serena Williams meets Li Na and Victoria Azarenka battles surprise package Flavia Pennetta.
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