MURRAY HAILS GREATEST SLAM TRIUMPH
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By Simon Lewis, PA Sport, New York
British number one Andy Murray hailed his victory over Stanislas Wawrinka at the US Open last night as the best performance of his grand slam career as he marched into quarter-finals in emphatic style.
Sixth seed Murray crushed Swiss 10th seed Wawrinka 6-1 6-3 6-3 in front of more than 23,000 fans on his debut at Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach the last eight of the final grand slam of the year for the first time.
His one hour 49 minute display sets up a quarter-final against in-form Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, who last night beat Japan's Kei Nishikori in straight sets, at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre on Wednesday.
"It was great. For the first match I played on that court, I've been looking forward to that for a long, long time and to play like that made it pretty special," said Murray, who committed just 15 unforced errors.
"I think in terms of the way that I played throughout the whole match, I didn't lose my concentration at all, which is tough in five-set matches.
"Obviously I've beaten better players than Stan but that level of performance throughout the whole match was probably my best one of all the slams I've played."
The win also handed Murray, a three-time winner in 2008, an elevation to at least world number five following David Ferrer's third round exit at the weekend, while the Scot will climb to number four should be outlast fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko in New York.
"I've watched so many matches on the TV there that I kind of knew what to expect," he said of Ashe Stadium, which is the biggest tennis stadium in the world. "I've watched a few matches from the stands but it's such a huge stadium, the noise, there's such a buzz during the points and it's a little bit different to anywhere I've ever played before but I loved every minute of it.
"When you're 18 or 19 years' old and you play on a court like that I think you feel like you want to do something extra special but now you've just got to get the job done and try and win three sets as quickly as possible. You don't want those matches going on any longer than they need to."
And Murray certainly did not waste any time wrapping up the win after breaking Wawrinka in the second game of the match to get off to a perfect start from which his rival was not allowed to recover.
"I felt like I was hitting the ball well," he said, having allowed Wawrinka just three break point opportunities.
"When you play against someone as good as Stan, a top 10 player, they're always going to raise their level a bit. There's going to be situations where you have to sort of fight your way through.
"I think when I was a couple of break points down in the second set those are the sort of moments you have to come through and I did that really well.
"But in those types of situations, on courts as big as that, the start of the match is so important and I knew that.
"I warmed up really well beforehand and wanted to try and set the tone for the match. I did that really well by breaking in the first game."