Written by Staff Writer
08 Sep, 2015 | 8:54 am
Andy Murray suffered his earliest Grand Slam exit for five years as he lost a gruelling fourth-round contest against 14th seed Kevin Anderson.
South Africa’s Anderson won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-0) in four hours and 18 minutes to reach his first major quarter-final.
It is the first time since the 2010 US Open that Murray has lost before the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.
Konta’s 16-match winning run ended in straight sets in the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, Murray’s hopes disappeared in a fever-pitch atmosphere on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
An emotional Murray smashed his racket and argued with the umpire before launching a fight back in the third set, but Anderson dominated the decisive tie-break.
It is 38 years since Britain had male and female quarter-finalists at the same Grand Slam, but Murray’s defeat means it is the first time in five years there have been neither.
In five of their past six encounters, including the Queen’s Club final in June, Murray’s returning had proved more than its equal.
However, it took until he was a set and 5-1 down for the Scot to break serve this time, and Anderson saw off another break point to clinch the set at the second opportunity.
Murray’s mood did not lighten when Anderson moved break up at the start of the third, but it galvanised the Scot to play his best tennis of the match in a burst of three games in a row.
However, Murray then put a forehand wide to give the break straight back and duly took out his frustration on his racket.
It came down to another tie-break and this time Murray made the running, moving 6-2 clear and sealing it with an ace before pumping his fist in the direction of his team and the spectators.
He had already recovered from two sets down against Adrian Mannarino in round two, but Anderson proved much tougher.
The 14th seed had let a similar lead slip against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon but remained rock solid this time, pushing for the break before completely dominating the third tie-break of the match.
He raced into a 6-0 lead and converted his first match point for the biggest win of his life, in the longest match of this year’s tournament.
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