NEW YORK — Andy Murray watched a 130-mph ace zoom by to create a two-set deficit at the U.S. Open, and then sat in his changeover chair and cursed at himself, over and over and over.
A little later, Murray cracked his racket against the court once, breaking the frame, and went to the sideline and mangled his equipment even more, before meandering over to hand it to someone in the stands.
Often able to spur himself by letting out some anger, the two-time Grand Slam title winner only briefly managed to get into this match. The third-seeded Murray lost before the quarterfinals at a major for the first time since 2010, beaten 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) by 15th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the fourth round Monday at Flushing Meadows.
“Disappointing to lose because of that,” Murray said about his earlier-than-usual exit. “Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency.”
For the 6-foot-8 Anderson, known mainly for a booming serve but terrific off the ground in this 4-hour, 18-minute victory, it marked a real breakthrough: He entered with an 0-7 record in fourth-round matches at majors, including when he had a two-set lead against Novak Djokovic before losing at Wimbledon two months ago.
This time, Anderson held it together, with the help of 25 aces and 81 total winners.
“I’m a little lost for words right now,” said Anderson, who will face two-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. “I just managed to keep my composure throughout.”
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images