Stan’s The Man And Reaches The Quarters

(Twitter: @usopen)

The Price is Right theme blared over the Arthur Ashe Stadium sound system during the fifth-game changeover.

Bidding for his first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Donald Young arrived on the big stage for the first time in the tournament armed with ambition.

An overpowering Stan Wawrinka denied the American’s bid and sent him packing without a parting gift.

Bullying Young around the court in chase of his flat blasts, Wawrinka whipped 38 more winners than his opponent scoring a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory to surge into the US Open quarterfinals for the third straight year.

“I would say that now when I play my top game, when I’m really feel the best on the court, I know I can keep it all the match,” Wawrinka said. “If I take French Open final, I was playing the best tennis I could play.  I knew that I will keep the level all the match.  So that’s maybe where I improve the most.”

It is Wawrinka’s sixth straight Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance. He will play either third-seeded Andy Murray or 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson for a trip to Friday’s final four. Murray has beaten Wawrinka in eight of 14 meetings, but the Swiss has won two of their three encounters in New York, including a straight-sets win in the 2013 quarterfinals.

The reigning Roland Garros champion dropped a set for the first time and cracked his racquet into a mangled mess during his second-set slide today. Aside from those lapses, the sturdy Swiss spent much of this match calling the shots.

Wawrinka gave his smashed Yonex—its head dangling from the throat as if it had lost a joust with a sword—to a couple of kids during a changeover. He gave Young the runaround for the rest of the day ending the 68th-ranked Atlanta resident’s inspired fourth-round.

Young arrived in New York 0-17 in five-set matches when facing a two-set deficit. Twice in three matches, he scraped himself off the court rallying past 11th-seeded Gilles Simon in round one on Court 17 before fighting past 22nd-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki on Grandstand.

Drained by those duels, as well as the added workload of playing doubles with Michael Russell and mixed doubles with Taylor Townsend, Young wasn’t quite as quick off the mark today. He also wasn’t nearly as proactive moving forward in the court. Young won 36 of 49 trips to net against Troicki; he only ventured forward 19 times today, winning 10 of those trips.

Wawrinka had a lot to do with that. The Swiss hits a heavier ball and was taking the first strike with conviction, pounding out 52 winners compared to 14 for his opponent.

Young’s feet were a factor as well. He revealed someone, apparently believing he was already eliminated from the tournament, cleaned out his locker yesterday swiping all of his Lotto shoes and some of his Boast shirts. Asics delivered two pairs of shoes to Young, who wore the brand while playing catch-up from the start today.

The two-time Grand Slam champion converted his lone break point early in the opening set and controlled baseline exchanges on serve. Despite serving 45 percent, Wawrinka won 13 of 14 points played on his first-serve and delivered more than four times as many winners (17 to 4) in the 33 minute opener.

Young, who upset Wawrinka in a fifth-set tie break en route to the 2011 fourth-round needed a lapse from the hard-hitter and Wawrinka complied spitting up a double fault deep to face break point. A nervous backhand into the middle of the net, confirmed by a “yeah!” from Young gave the American his first break and a 3-1 lead.

One point later, the Roland Garros champion cracked again. Wawrinka spiked his Yonex racquet to the court mangling the head and incurring a code violation warning in the process.

Wawrinka’s sweeping one-handed backhand is a strength. Young made him hit it on the stretch, using his lefty sidespin to extend the Swiss well wide of the sideline. A forehand that staggered off the top of the tape and fell back gave Young a second straight break for 5-1. The former junior world No. 1 zapped an inside-out forehand winner breezing through the second set in 24 minutes.

Resetting, Wawrinka went right back to work. Young made the right move attacking net behind a forehand swing volley, but got he wrong result. He dumped a routine high forehand volley into tape as Wawrinka broke for a 2-0 third-set advantage. Young planted a backhand into the middle of the net gifting the second break and a 4-0 lead to his opponent.

The world No. 5 hits a heavier ball, serves with more sting and is much more proficient pounding his backhand down the line. He used all of those assets winning nine of the first 11 points in set four, surging out to a 2-0 lead. Exhorting himself “Come on, D! Fight!”, Young tried to turn the tide, but Wawrinka would not be denied. He converted all four of his break points in the match, and permitted just seven points on serve in the final set wrapping up a tidy win in two hours, nine minutes.

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