Roger Federer survived his second straight five-setter at the US Open on Thursday, defeating Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to make the third round.
Federer had never lost to Youzhny in 16 previous meetings, but after cruising through the opening set, the 36-year old Swiss suddenly found himself a set down after some battling tennis from his opponent.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner found renewed vigour, racing into a 4-1 lead in the fourth set, but despite Youzhny breaking back in the ninth game, Federer responded strongly again to take the match into decider – the first time in his career that he’d been taken to five-sets in the first two rounds of a slam.
With the final set poised at 1-1, Youzhny took a tumble as he reached for a lob that left him in visible discomfort. He soldiered on, but Federer took full advantage of his opponent’s now limited movement to close out the set and the match, winning the final four games to set up a third round meeting with Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
THAT DOES IT!
— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) August 31, 2017
Also on Wednesday, sixth seed Dominic Thiem overcame American teen Taylor Fritz in four sets to make the third round.
The Austrian saw off a fightback from Fritz to triumph 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 and will now face Adrian Mannarino of France in the third round.
Gael Monfils (18) also advanced into the third round with a five set win over the US’ Donald Young, prevailing 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 and will play either David Goffin (9) or Guido Pella of Argentina.