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Andy Murray hinted the emotional impact of his Wimbledon victory had taken its toll as his US Open defence was brought to an end by Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.
Unlike 12 months ago, the Scot could not find anything like his best tennis in New York and was well beaten 6-4 6-3 6-2 by ninth seed Wawrinka.
It was always going to be a test for Murray to raise himself for another grand slam effort less than two months after the joy and release of pressure that came with becoming the first British man in 77 years to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon.
That capped 12 months that had seen him win Olympic gold and his first grand slam title.
Murray said: ``It's been challenging both (mentally and physically) for different reasons. ``I've played some extremely tough matches in that period. The last few games of Wimbledon to you guys may not seem like much, but to me it was extremely challenging.
``When you work hard for something for a lot of years, it's going to take a bit of time to really fire yourself up and get yourself training 110%.
``That's something that I think is kind of natural after what happened at Wimbledon. But I got here. I have been here nearly three weeks now.
``I practised a lot and played quite a lot of matches as well. So I gave myself a chance to do well because I prepared properly.''
Murray has been incredibly consistent in the slams, reaching the final at his last four tournaments and at least the semi-finals in nine out of the last 10.
The defeat was his worst at a grand slam since losing to Wawrinka in the third round of the US Open three years ago.
The 26-year-old said: ``I don't think I was playing poorly (during the tournament). I got to the quarter-finals of a slam, which isn't easy.
``I would have liked to have played a little bit better but I have had a good run the last couple of years. It's a shame I had to play a bad match today.''
Murray certainly played poorly but he was never allowed even a chink of an opening by an inspired Wawrinka, who is through to his first grand slam semi-final.
The 28-year-old, who revealed he had received a congratulatory text from Roger Federer, said: ``I feel great. I'm really happy.
``It's amazing for me to be in my first semi-final at a grand slam, especially after beating Andy Murray. He just won Wimbledon, too. He's a great champion.
``To beat him in three sets the way I was playing is quite good for me. I'm really confident with myself and with my game.''
In the last four Wawrinka will play Novak Djokovic, who dropped his first set of the tournament but recovered to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-0.
In the women's semi-finals later today, Victoria Azarenka meets surprise package Flavia Pennetta before defending champion Serena Williams takes on Li Na.