NEW YORK • World No. 3 Andy Murray made his earliest Grand Slam exit in five years on Monday, after 15th seed Kevin Anderson stunned the Briton in the fourth round of the US Open.
The South African prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-0) to end Murray's run of 18 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals since the 2010 US Open.
"That's something that is disappointing to lose because of that," said Murray, who had 49 winners and 20 unforced errors, but did not make a forehand winner until the last game of the second set.
US Open, 4th round
Men: Stan Wawrinka (Sui) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-4 1-6 6-3 6-4, Kevin Anderson (Rsa) bt Andy Murray (Gbr) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-0), Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Tomas Berdych (Cze) 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-1, Roger Federer (Sui) bt John Isner (USA) 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (8-6) 7-5.
Women: Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Johanna Konta (Gbr) 7-5 6-3, Flavia Pennetta (Ita) bt Samantha Stosur (Aus) 6-4 6-4, Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-3 6-4, Simona Halep (Rom) bt Sabine Lisicki (Ger) 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-2.
0 Pairs of shoes American Donald Young found in his locker after it was ransacked. He got only one pair back before his round of 16 loss to Stan Wawrinka .
9 Service breaks in the second set of the round of 16 clash between Simona Halep and Sabine Lisicki.
12 Games lost by Petra Kvitova in three rounds.
18 Andy Murray's run of 18 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals since the 2010 US Open is over following his loss to Kevin Anderson.
108 On the last point of the match between Roger Federer and John Isner, the Swiss broke Isner to end the big server's 108 consecutive service games without being broken at the US Open.
"That's many years' work that's gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough."
Anderson reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final after seven previous fourth-round defeats. It was also his first win over a top-10 player at the Grand Slams in 16 matches.
The 29-year-old came close to making his breakthrough at Wimbledon this year, when he led world No. 1 Novak Djokovic by two sets to love. On Monday, he found himself in a similar position against Murray and admitted the memory of his heart-breaking loss at the All England club clouded his thoughts at one stage.
"It was definitely on my mind quite a bit there because I felt we were playing some long points," he said after defeating the 2012 champion in four hours and 18 minutes.
"I was fatiguing a little bit in the third. But I just stuck with it."
Anderson finished with 81 winners - including 25 aces - to book a last-eight date with Swiss fifth seed Stan Wawrinka, who he has defeated in their last four meetings.
Reigning French Open champion Wawrinka ousted American Donald Youn1g 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Anderson, who won his third career title two weeks ago at Winston-Salem, is the first South African in the US Open's last-eight since Wayne Ferreira in 1992.
"It was the match of my life," he said. "This is a great accomplishment for me."
Murray, who has struggled with a head cold in the past week and battled back to victory in the second round from two sets down, did not blame fatigue. "I was able to fight as I wanted to through to the end of the match," said the third seed. "It was more playing against Kevin on the court of that speed, and with him serving as well as he does, it's a tricky match."
Second seed Roger Federer also came face to face with one of the ATP Tour's biggest hitters on Monday. But the Swiss coolly defused John Isner's booming serve to claim a 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 victory.
Federer held his own from the service line to thwart Isner, never losing his serve, and used his returning skills to derail a pair of long streaks enjoyed by the American.
Federer closed out the two hour, 39 minute fourth-round match by breaking Isner's serve, ending the American's string of 108 consecutive service holds at the US Open.
His perfect scoreline in the opening set tie-break snapped an even longer Isner streak. In 429 tie-breakers played by Isner, he had never dropped one 7-0.
"John has one of the best serves in the game," said Federer, who next faces Frenchman Richard Gasquet. "You have just got to hang around and win your service games."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
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