Just call him Stan the Man. Stanislas Wawrinka certainly earned that status by taking out defending U.S. Open champ Andy Murray with relative ease. The 28-year old Swiss hard hitter has played in Roger Federer’s shadow. By dismissing off court buddy Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in straight sets, he no longer can be taken lightly.
Wawrinka followed up a big fourth round win over Tomas Berdych by putting on a virtuoso performance to reach his first ever grand slam semifinal. He’ll await the winner of tonight’s night session between Novak Djokovic and Mikhail Youzhny (8 EST ESPN). Considering how close he was to beating Djokovic at the Australian, it’d be fitting if they faced off again. Djokovic edged him 12-10 in five long sets. He’ll be the favorite later. But that hasn’t meant much lately.
The key to Stan’s quarterfinal victory was his aggressive approach. He continuously attacked Murray. Throughout the match, he pounded the ball from the baseline using his trademark backhand to break open lengthy rallies. Equally as potent was his forehand, which he powers through on the full run. He also attacked the net catching Murray by surprise. The tactic paid off converting 31 of 42. Along with a strong serve, the end result was 30 more winners. Wawrinka finished with 45 to Murray’s 15. The defending champ played tentative and didn’t adjust to the windy conditions. Instead, he looked flustered and slammed his racket after dropping the first set. It didn’t get any better.
While Wawrinka held serve without facing a break point, Murray struggled during his service games. He was taken to Deuce plenty. Persistence paid dividends with Wawrinka teeing off. He broke Murray four times, converting 4 of 15 break chances. It was the kind of go for broke style Ashe Stadium appreciated. Murray struggled with his first serve winning just 54 percent. Comparatively, Wawrinka went a whopping 88 percent only dropping five points. He also was stronger at key moments dialing up his second serve. When Murray misfired into the net, Stan the Man had his moment.
Wawrinka said he’ll relax and enjoy the win over Murray. Then check out the night session which he enjoys after telling ESPN’s Brad Gilbert post match. The two joked about a tweet he sent earlier in the day about being ready to take Darren Cahill’s job. Not quite yet.