Andy Murray was sent crashing out the U.S. Open in four sets thanks against Kevin Anderson, in what was an exciting, knife-edge match, that saw three of the four sets go to tie breaks.
Just days after a decisive and clinical performance from the British No1 against Thomaz Bellucci, few would have predicted that would have been his last win of the tournament.
Murray had given himself ample time to prepare for the 15th seed, but the big serve and pure resilience of Anderson provided Murray with a problem that he did not have an answer to.
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The opening set was of a high standard, neither man giving much to his opponent and Murray could have pushed on at 2-2 with three break points, but failed to get the better of Anderson who held on for a tie-break.
The tie-break produced an exciting 29 shot rally, of which Murray was the victor, with a majestic backhand and the emotion from the Scot was oozing. But it was Anderson who held his nerve with a backhand of his own to bring up his first set point, which he converted to take a 1-0 lead.
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In the second, Anderson and his ferocious serve were too much for Murray, with the 15th seed breaking twice in the set and finally converting set point at the fifth time of asking. 2-0, and the stage was set for another Murray fight back.
The third set saw Anderson winning the psychological battle, taking two lengthy breaks before and after breaking Murray in the first game of the set. Murray was equal to it and immediately broke back to level the set up at 1-1.
Murray, from anger and sheer displeasure with his lacklustre performance so far, smashed his racket when Anderson broke and ensured another tie break.
It appeared luck was shifting in the British number one's favour, and a lucky net call enabled him to pull a set back and was greeted by the cheers of the crowd in a packed out Louis Armstrong stadium.
This vibrant energy was soon quelled, as Murray again temporarily nullified the Anderson onslaught and held serve at 5-6 to set up a third tie-break.
Anderson was simply unstoppable, firing himself into a lead which Murray would not be able to claw back, and set up a clash with current French Open champion and world number five, the Swiss Stanislav Wawrinka.
Murray's hopes of a grand slam for 2015, and he will he hoping that he can resurrect his year at the ATP Tour finals in November.
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