Youzhny outlasts Wawrinka in US Open marathon
Mikhail Youzhny denied victory to fighting Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka as the Russian posted a 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 3- 6, 6-3, 6-3 win to reach his second semi-final at the US Open Thursday, dpa reported.
Youzhny, who played in the final four in 2006 against Andy Roddick, won a see-saw battle lasting just over four hours as his tiring opponent finally paid the price for more than 12 cumulative hours on court entering the showdown.
The 27th-ranked Wawrinka fought hard to try to break new ground by reaching a career-first Grand Slam semi-final after breaking through to the quarters two days earlier.
Wawrinka was battling fatigue after spending five hours more on court during the fortnight than celebrated compatriot Roger Federer. The workload included four sets over title hope Andy Murray and five sets and more than four hours in beating the last American standing, Sam Querrey, in the fourth round.
"Today Mikhail was playing very good," said Wawrinka. "I tried my best. I tried to fight on all the match, but it was too much.
"It was tough, but it's the same for the both player. You need to play. When you go on court, doesn't matter the condition. You just need to win the match and try your best."
Youzhny improved to 18-7 in New York.
With a diabolical wind complicating play for another day at Flushing Meadows, Youzhny had to work to deny the Wawrinka dream. Youzhny will face another huge test on Saturday when he plays the winner from a match between top seed Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco, competing in the first all-Spanish quarter-final in the event's history.
"It was tough condition, you understand you can beat him and you understand he can beat you, because it's close match," said Youzhny. "I just tried to play every point.
"You already know how the wind was going. But sometimes it just was faster or slowly or right or left. It could be in the middle of the point."
The match was dictated as much by the blustery wind as by the players themselves, with balls carried long or wide on numerous occasions.
On three occasions in the first two sets, Warwinka, who ranked ninth in the world in spring 2008, immediately came back in the next game after being broken. The resolve paid off in the opening set, which he won.
In the second, the Swiss saved three set points before Youzhny set up a fourth with a pass and levelled the contest on the next point.
Wawrinka sprinted away to 4-1 in the third set, taking the match lead again as he claimed the set with a sizzling ace after wind carried a Youzhny lob long to yield a set point.
But the last two sets only brought more frustration to Wawrinka, with the 25-year-old getting a break back for a fourth time early in the fifth set but going down again after his fifth double-fault set up a break point for Youzhny's 5-2 lead.
The Russian finished the job on a first match point, with Wawrinka hitting the next with a return after striking 13 aces during the afternoon.
Youzhny improved to 3-2 over Wawrinka; he has beat the Swiss in all three of their hardcourt matches.