Andy Murray is leaving another US Open empty-handed. And early.
The Brit baller, who was upset by Marin Cilic in the fourth round last year, was shocked by 25th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in the third round. The Swiss was the more aggressive of the two, blasting 58 winners to 43 for Muzz and 13 aces to only 5 for the fourth seed. He'll battle Sam Querrey, who bestedNicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Muzz was seen by the trainer twice during the match, once for tightness in his leg and another time for tingling in his elbow, but didn't blame the loss on injury. He did, however, allude to possible fatigue as an explanation for his performance:
Q. So what was the treatment for then when the trainer came on? ANDY MURRAY: The first time, just tightness in my quad; the second time, just getting sort of pins and needles around my right elbow. Q. When did you first start to feel the problems? ANDY MURRAY: Beginning of the third set probably. Q. Did it affect you moving one side or the other or any particular shot? ANDY MURRAY: No, no. I was still moving okay. Q. Did fatigue play a part at all today? ANDY MURRAY: Could have been. I don't -- I don't know. I haven't been really tired in any long matches for a long, long time. So whether it was fatigue or not, I don't know.
Of course the media asked the inevitable question about coaching and whether there's a greater sense of urgency now:
Q. You mentioned the coaching situation before the start of the tournament. Does this in any way accelerate the search? ANDY MURRAY: No, no. You got to be patient. You know, I was getting asked five, six days ago, You're playing great tennis; will you think about going without a coach? It's based on one match. I'm not going to panic and hire someone to try and make things better. So, no. I'm going to take my time. I'm going to go home, have a rest - 'cause I need it - and see what I decide to do after that. Q. Is this something then that you feel you have to sort out personally yourself, the situation, rather than something a coach could help you sort out? Is this something that needs to be sorted out with you? ANDY MURRAY: I don't understand the question. Q. You said dealing with the situation now, you haven't felt like this for a while; you have to work out why you're in this situation. Is that something that can only come from you, or can a third party help? ANDY MURRAY: I'll speak to all the guys I work with and see what's gone well this year, what hasn't gone so well. You know, it's one match. I wish I'd played better. But I'm not gonna panic and start trying to analyze everything that's going on, because I've been pretty much injury-free the whole year. Physically I felt good the whole year. You know, I played some of my best tennis in two of the majors this year.
So, you know, I want to improve and get better. I'm obviously going to look for a coach and people that are gonna help me to do that. But, you know, I'm happy with the guys that I work with just now. They're all very, very good at what they do. So I'm not gonna start changing everything. I'm still looking for a coach. That's it.
I'd say a coach is in order, stat. Muzz had a great summer and yet still failed to show his best stuff at a major where he was a strong fave of many to make, and win, the final men's match at Flushing Meadows. But he seems to have issues with changing course mid-match when his game plan isn't working, reverting to his counter-punching ways and thinking he can win with defense. And on these fast courts the aggressor will always win in the end as he did this time.