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Stanislas Wawrinka reached his first Grand Slam semi-final on Thursday courtesy of a sweet one-handed backhand and inspiration from bleak Irish writer Samuel Beckett.
Wawrinka stunned defending US Open champion Andy Murray 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in a breathtaking quarter-final demolition in which the British Olympic and Wimbledon champion failed to carve out a single break point.
Wawrinka, so often in the shadow of 17-time Grand Slam title winner and compatriot Roger Federer, takes inspiration from Beckett and has a quote from the Nobel Prize winner tattooed inside his left forearm.
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better," is the line which has helped propel the 28-year-old world number 10 into a last-four clash in New York against either top seed Novak Djokovic or Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.
"It's my vision of my job and my life in general. In tennis, as you know, if you are not Roger or Rafa and Djokovic or Andy now, you don't win so many tournaments and you always lose," said Wawrinka.
"But you need to take the positive of the loss and you need to go back to work and still play. Because if you lose (and) that kills you, it's tough to play tennis. It's that simple."
Wawrinka has believed he could live with the big four in January since pushing world number one Djokovic in a pulsating Australian Open fourth round match.
Djokovic prevailed in a five-hour duel, but Wawrinka had led 6-1, 5-2 at one stage.
That form has mirrored itself in his performances -- in 2013, he is 7-7 against top 10 opponents; in the previous three years he was a combined 7-26.
"What happened in Australia was one of the keys of the season, for sure. That was a really tough moment, but at the end, I was really positive because all the Australian Open my level was better than ever," said the Swiss.
"When I feel I'm playing good tennis, then I know the result will come."
This year, he won a fourth career title in Portugal, was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Madrid, David Ferrer in Buenos Aires and Nicolas Mahut at 's-Hertogenbosch.
He also enjoyed a quarter-final run at the French Open, where he was beaten in straight sets by Nadal having come from two sets down to defeat fellow US Open semi-finalist Richard Gasquet.
Wawrinka went into Thursday's quarter-final trailing Murray 8-5 in career meetings, but he had defeated the Scot in New York in 2010 and also got the better of the reigning US Open champion on the clay of Monte Carlo in April.
"Normally I can be a little bit nervous and I can lose few games because of that, but today I was just focused on my game," he said.
"It was really windy, not easy conditions, but my plan was to push him to be aggressive because I know that Andy can be a little bit too defensive. I like it when he's far back from the baseline, and today I did it well."
Wawrinka said he had received a text of congratulations from Federer who had been knocked out in the fourth round.
But he was keeping the meat of the message to himself.
"Private things," he said. "You don't want to know."