Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents NEW YORK---Andy Murray s reign as defending
US Open champion ended in a surprising, frus-
tration-filled 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal loss to
ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday.
After one set, Murray slammed his racket into the
court, then mangled it once he reached his chair on
the sideline. After the second, he gestured over to
his coach, Ivan Lendl, and let out a frustrated scream.
Wawrinka had Murray in knots all day.
"I would have liked to have played a little bit
better," Murray said after rushing off the court and
into the interview room to explain the loss. "I ve
had a good run the last couple of years. It s a shame
I had to play a bad match today."
Ninth-seeded Wawrinka made his first Grand
Slam semifinal, earning a spot in the final four for
Switzerland that for so long felt like Roger Federer s
"It feels amazing for sure, especially here," Wawrin-
ka said. "Especially after that match. He s the defend-
ing champion, He s a tough opponent."
The third-seeded Murray broke into the elite ech-
elon of tennis last year, winning his first Grand Slam
tournament at Flushing Meadows, then his second
at Wimbledon in June.
But the straight-set loss to Wawrinka ended a
stay in New York during which he never got com-
pletely comfortable --- not when he had to wait until
Wednesday night of the first week to begin the
defense of the title, not when he struggled in a four-
set victory over Denis Istomen in the fourth round
and certainly not on Thursday.
This was Murray s earliest exit from the U.S. Open
since 2010, when Wawrinka also did the honors ---
that year in the third round.
Murray conceded it s been a long road since he
broke into the top, first at the Olympics on home
turf last year, then with the two major titles.
"When you work hard at something for a lot of
years, it s going to take time to fire yourself up and
get to training 110 percent," Murray said about his
preparation for the year s final Grand Slam. "That s
something kind of natural after what happened at
An amazing letdown, especially considering the
numbers he has been putting up of late.
---He had appeared in the finals of the previous
four major tournaments he entered (he missed this
year s French Open because of a back injury).
---He had won 30 of his last 32 Grand Slam match-
---He had been 7-0 on hard courts in major quar-
---This marked his first straight-set loss in a major
since the semifinals of the 2011 French Open.
"If I m meant to win every Grand Slam I play or
be in the final, it s just very, very difficult just now,"
Murray said. "With the guys around us, it s very
Wawrinka is certainly one of those guys now.
He played near-flawless tennis, especially con-
sidering the windy conditions that had the ball war-
bling all over the place in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
He didn t face a break point over his 14 service
Wawrinka had 45 winners to 15 for Murray.
Wawrinka also charged the net, not allowing Mur-
ray to get comfortable while trying to figure out the
windy conditions on the baseline. Wawrinka won
the point on 31 of 42 trips to the net, including 10
for 10 in the third set.
"I thought there was a fair few long points, but
I didn t get into enough return games, which is dis-
appointing for me," Murray said. "That s normally
something I do pretty well. I always give myself
opportunities to break serve, and I didn t today."
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
NEWPORT--- Major champions Lind-
say Davenport, Mary Pierce and Con-
chita Martinez are among the Interna-
tional Tennis Hall of Fame nominees
The Hall also announced yesterday
that American coach Nick Bollettieri,
Dutch wheelchair player Chantal
Vandierendonck, American executive
Jane Brown Grimes and British author
and broadcaster John Barrett are up for
election next year.
Davenport won singles titles at the
U.S. Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999
and the Australian Open in 2000. She
was ranked No. 1 for a total of 98 weeks,
finishing at that spot in 1998, 2001, 2004
Pierce was singles champion at the
1995 Australian Open and the 2000
Martinez is the only Spanish woman
to win Wimbledon, beating Martina
Navratilova in the 1994 final.
Davenport, Pierce, Martinez head Hall nominees
Stanislas Wawrinka, of Switzerland, reacts after winning a game against Andy
Murray, of Great Britain, during the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis
tournament, yesterday . AP PHOTO
NEW YORK---When Serena Williams plays
in the US Open semifinals tomorrow, her
coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, probably will
pull out a pen and jot some notes in his ever-
present black notebook.
He does that at most of her matches, finding
things to focus on so Williams can keep
improving. Yes, that s right: Williams already
owns 16 Grand Slam titles, is ranked No. 1,
is three weeks from her 32nd birthday---and
yet she still wants to get better.
"She s open to discussion, changing things,"
Mouratoglou said. "She s very open to working
hard and doing things that she needs to do."
To that end, Mouratoglou and Williams will
sit together and watch video of her matches,
going over the positives and negatives he picked
out while courtside. He ll refer to his notes,
which might involve tactics or technique. She
speaks up, too, of course.
"She s working like if she was 19 years old
and she wanted to win her first Grand Slam.
She has the same appetite, and she s open
mentally the same way to get better every day.
So that makes a huge difference," Mouratoglou
said. "How many players ... have the same
appetite? And especially after winning so many
Williams is two wins away from her second
consecutive US Open championship and fifth
in all. Having dropped a total of 13 games
through five matches --- including a 6-0, 6-
0 victory in the quarterfinals --- she next faces
No. 5 Li Na of China, the 2011 French Open
winner. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus,
the two-time Australian Open champion and
last year s runner-up in New York, meets
83rd-ranked Flavia Pennetta of Italy in Sat-
urday s other semifinal.
There s little doubt who the favorite is.
Compare Williams career Grand Slam haul
to the other three semifinalists combined
three major titles.
Or note that Williams already has played
in 23 past Grand Slam semifinals, more than
twice the 10 previous appearances for the
Williams began working with Mouratoglou
shortly after a first-round loss at the 2012
French Open, the only time she s exited a
major tournament after her opening match.
It s paying off.
Since being beaten at Roland Garros by Vir-
ginie Razzano, who was ranked 111th at the
time, Williams has won 96 of 101 matches
and earned 13 titles. That includes trophies
from three of the past five Grand Slams, along
with gold at the London Olympics.
In 2013 alone, she is 65-4 and has matched
her career high with eight titles.
Williams nears fifth US Open, 17th Slam title in all
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