Andy Murray will have to wait another year for a second US Open title tryst. Against the bombardment of relentless power and rocket serves, the world number three just could not stay afloat long enough, falling to the impressive Kevin Anderson in the fourth round of the final Grand Slam of the year in a marathon match that lasted four hours and 18 minutes.
Murray was one of the favourites for the title, even after the Brit struggled a little in the earlier rounds, particularly in the second, when he had to come back from two sets down to beat Adrian Mannarino.
However, this time there would be no comeback, no "man that was a good return, he's rendering Anderson's serve useless"; instead it is an early flight back to the UK after a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-0) loss to Anderson at the Louis Armstrong Stadium in New York.
"I was playing against an excellent player," Murray said. "He served extremely well. It was a tough match. That court is a lot quicker than [Arthur] Ashe [Stadium]. I felt like, you know, I was on the back foot quite a lot. Wasn't able to play that offensively.
"But, you know, when you're playing against someone that's playing and has the game style that he does, you're always going to have to do a fair bit of defending, especially if he serves well."
Murray admitted he failed to take his chances in the match, especially in the second set, when he had an opportunity to level the match up. The loss also meant his run of 18 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals has come to an end.
"That's many years' work that's gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough," Murray added. "Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it's a hard one to lose, for sure."
In an another fourth round match, Stanislas Wawrinka ended American Donald Young's dream run with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Victoria Azarenka, Flavia Pennetta, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep were the winners in women's singles fourth round action.
Azarenka, who has had a lot more success on the hardcourts of the Australian Open, was too strong for Varvara Lepchenko, beating the American 6-3, 6-4, while Pennetta got the better of former US Open champion Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-4.
Kvitova ended Johanna Konta's impressive run with a straight-set 7-5, 6-3 victory, while Halep needed three sets to beat Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-2.