NEW YORK. Defending champion Andy Murray was the latest grand slam winner to be bundled out of the U.S. Open and deny fans a dream matchup, while Novak Djokovic stayed the course on Thursday to complete the last four lineup.
Winds blew across Arthur Ashe Stadium but that did not bother top seed Djokovic, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-0 to claim a berth in Saturday’s semi-finals.
An eagerly anticipated renewal of his grand slam rivalry with Wimbledon winner Murray had already been spoiled after ninth seed Wawrinka of Switzerland spanked the out-of-sorts Scot 6-4 6-3 6-2 in their quarter-final.
The other semi-final will have French Open champion Rafa Nadal against eighth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
“I’m always trying to play my best tennis in the grand slams,” said world number one Djokovic, who reached his 14th consecutive grand slam semi-final.
Youzhny, the 21st seed, said the Serb had never given an inch. “Every point you have to play,” the Russian said. “He never miss. He never give you some presents.”
Wawrinka stepped out from the shadow cast by compatriot Roger Federer and into his first grand slam semi-final with a decisive victory over the Wimbledon champion, winning the battle from the baseline and the net.
“It feels amazing for sure, especially here,” the excited Swiss said. “He’s defending champion, he’s a tough opponent. It was a crazy match for me. To beat him in three sets is just amazing.”
Murray’s loss was the second seismic shocker to strike the men’s draw in the last two rounds following the straight sets dismissal of five-time U.S. Open champion Federer in the fourth round by Spain’s Tommy Robredo.