Weary Wawrinka pleased with progress at U.S. Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A weary Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland was disappointed to fall short of his first grand slam semi-final appearance on Thursday but took comfort by his string of success at the U.S. Open.

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland reaches for a return during a U.S. Open tennis match against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in New York, September 9, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Wawrinka, who had logged the most court time of any of the quarter-finalists after taking 12 hours 27 minutes to get through his first four matches, fell 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-3 to 12th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

The hard-hitting Swiss said he had learned a lot on court at the U.S. Open.

“Just after the match it’s always difficult,” he said. “But I think today Mikhail was playing very good. I tried my best. I tried to fight on all the match, but was too much.”

The 25th seed reached his first grand slam quarter-final with a four-hour 38-minute, five-set victory over 20th-seeded American Sam Querrey after eliminating fourth seed Andy Murray in four sets that took nearly four hours of work.

“I think I give everything today, and I try, I try, for sure,” the 25-year-old said. “I made some big mistakes, but after four hours you’re really tired. I was tired.”

After losing in the first round of the U.S. Open last year, Wawrinka said he would take a lot from his rousing run.

“If I go back, I’m very pleased with the tournament,” he said after bowing out in another four-hour struggle. “I know especially against Andy Murray was I think my best match, and I was playing really, really strong,” he said about the 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-3 win against the fourth-seeded Briton.

“For the rest of the season and for sure next year, it’s gonna be, I hope, more tournaments with that level.”

A tiring Wawrinka conceded his tactics and behavior were not always his best, referring to a few ill-timed drop shots he floated over the net that turned into winners for Youzhny and the rackets he slammed to the court in frustration.

“It’s not always easy to think and to play the right drop shots or to play the good point and not to break the racket,” he said. “But after the match, I just know that I try everything. I think he was just a little bit better today.”

Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Frank Pingue