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Page last updated at 23:10 GMT, Sunday, 5 September 2010 00:10 UK

Stanislas Wawrinka beats Andy Murray at US Open

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

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Murray 'no idea' for loss of form

By Piers Newbery

Britain's Andy Murray made a shock third-round exit at the US Open after suffering a dramatic slump against 25th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray served for a two-set lead at one stage but fortunes shifted wildly as erratic form and injury problems saw both men take and lose the initiative.

And with the Scot frustrated and struggling physically, Wawrinka prevailed 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-3.

The Swiss will play American 20th seed Sam Querrey in the last 16.

"He played better than me," said Murray afterwards. "There's not a whole lot more to it. He had a chance to win the first set; didn't take it. I had a chance to win the second set; didn't take it. I just struggled from then on."

And asked why he fell away in the closing stages, the world number four added: "I was disappointed that I was struggling physically. I tried to find a way to come back. Didn't quite do it."

Wawrinka came into Sunday's match as a heavy underdog against the fourth seed, who was tipped by most to challenge for a first Grand Slam title over the next week.

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But after three hours and 56 minutes in the Louis Armstrong stadium Murray was a shadow of his recent self, unable to move freely after twice requiring treatment to his left thigh and struggling to keep his temper in check.

Wawrinka had also called for the trainer to strap his thigh during a bizarre third set that saw both men appear close to retirement at one stage, but the Swiss proved the stronger in the closing stages.

His attacking style had given Murray problems from the start and, after saving four break points in game two, he broke serve in the following game and moved impressively to 5-2 with six aces and 20 winners.

But serving for the set the pressure told and the winners dried up, allowing Murray back into the match as he reeled off three games in a row.

The Scot then dominated the tie-break, despite an angry outburst at 2-0 when he felt a call of "Allez!" from Wawrinka had contributed to him missing a drop shot.

A purple patch followed and a sweeping forehand winner and inch-perfect backhand lob gave Murray a break for 2-0 in the second set, but there were many more twists and turns to come.

Murray played a desperately loose game at 3-1 to drop serve and, after breaking once more for 5-3, saw Wawrinka get the deficit back again with some of the carefree hitting he had shown earlier.

The Briton was clearly fuming at having let the chance slip away and his frustration was evident in the tie-break as Wawrinka took charge from the outset, moving 4-1 up and closing it out with a sharp serve-volley.

I have the feeling he was a little bit injured, he was not feeling OK, so I was trying to stay aggressive and to make him run a lot

Stanislas Wawrinka

Things got even worse for Murray in the third set as he began to struggle physically and failed to chase down balls that he would normally have returned with relish, and the trainer was called when he trailed 4-1.

After the briefest of attention to his thigh the focus immediately shifted to Wawrinka, who appeared to cramp at the other end and took a medical timeout to get his thigh strapped.

It was the Swiss who came out much the stronger from the bout of medical treatment and he served out for a two-sets-to-one lead before breaking at the start of the fourth, with Murray now playing from way behind the baseline.

There was another twist in this strangest of matches when Wawrinka fired a forehand long in the following game to hand the break straight back, but a magnificent drop shot in game five helped the Swiss regain the advantage and this time he held on.

Murray was left bent over in either pain or frustration at one point, looking forlornly at his supporters' box, although he bravely recovered from 0-40 to stay alive in game seven.

It did not seem impossible that Wawrinka might get tight when serving for the match but he avoided that potential drama by breaking again to seal an unexpected and extraordinary victory.

"I think all my game was pretty good, it was one of my best matches for sure," said Wawrinka. "I was very aggressive. I was doing everything really good so I'm very happy.

"I think at the end of the first set I was playing a little bit too defensive. That's what I started to change in the second and third and fourth sets, to stay aggressive, even if he's coming, even if he's putting a lot of pressure.

"But I have the feeling he was a little bit injured, he was not feeling OK, so I was trying to stay aggressive and to make him run a lot and I think I did pretty well."



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