Federer is tested again, escapes in five-set win

Federer is tested again, escapes in five-set win

Federer is tested again, escapes in five-set win

Federer, who is a five-time US Open champion and now seeded third in the ongoing tournament, was two sets to one down, but eventually came through to register a 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over his Russian opponent in a thrilling second-round clash at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

As he did after his first-round five-set win, Federer struck a confident note in interviews, stressing the belief that his rhythm will return as the tournament progresses.

The 36-year-old Swiss improved his ideal record against the former world No 8 from Russian Federation to 17-0, but only after the world No 101 suffered from cramp early in the fifth set.

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The world number three quickly responded by moving into a 4-1 lead in the fourth and, while Youzhny delayed matters by denying Federer when the Swiss was serving for the set, the Russian lost on his own serve in the very next game as Federer took it 6-4.

Nadal is now one step closer to a potential semi-finals match against third seed Roger Federer, who won his second consecutive five-set match earlier on Thursday.

Spanish veteran Rafael Nadal had to fend off a spirited challenge to beat Japanese Taro Daniel in four closely contested sets. Even the decider was tougher than it needed to be: Tiafoe broke Federer at 5-3 before Federer broke back to clinch the win. I was like, Yeah, anything that doesn't make me drive very long. "It was exciting. It's kind of why I came to NY as well; to go through these emotions". The fourth set was maybe a pity that I couldn't get in the driver's seat early but Frances fought well. Frances Tiafoe may just be the player who one day ends that drought.

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With former US Open champions Stan Wawrinka (2016), Novak Djokovic (2011, 2015) and Andy Murray (2012) skipping the tournament with injuries, Federer became the default favourite to win his first title at Flushing Meadows since 2008.

Only two players in the Open era have won grand slam titles after being taken to five sets in their first two matches - Boris Becker in Australia in 1996 and Gaston Gaudio in France in 2004. "So clearly I'm happy how I felt after the first round, because that was the scary bit". That was good. But because of the preparation being not the best that I've had, I think I was quite up and down.

"It's easier for the other girls to play me as there is more pressure being number one", said Pliskova, who faces either Chinese 27th seed Zhang Shuai or Risa Ozaki of Japan for a place in the last 16.

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"These five-set battles are actually quite a lot of fun and I feel quite warmed up by now". With a bit of fatigue, that's OK. But I'm really, really happy I got through. I say OK, he's beaten me 17 times but today it was closer.

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