Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny insisted he did not do “something special” despite recovering from two sets to one down to reach the second Grand Slam semi-final of his career at the US Open.
Youzhny beat Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 3-6 6-3 6-3 in exactly four hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium and will face top seed Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s semi-finals.
“All five sets were close,” said Youzhny. “I didn’t do something special after being 2-1 down, maybe I was a little bit luckier than him.”
Youzhny, who reached the last four at Flushing Meadows in 2006, broke serve in the opening game of the match but Wawrinka hit straight back and another break of serve in the eighth game allowed the 25th seed to serve out for the set.
The windy conditions contributed to four breaks of serve in succession in the second set, before Youzhny took an epic tie-break to get back on level terms.
The 12th seed let three set points slip before a superb forehand winner gave him a fourth which he took to win the tie-break 9-7.
Wawrinka had spent 12 hours and 27 minutes on court to reach the quarter-finals, over five and a half hours more than compatriot Roger Federer, but he looked freshest in the third set, which he took courtesy of a solitary break of serve.
But unsurprisingly the previous tough matches against American Sam Querrey and Britain’s Andy Murray began to take their toll, Youzhny levelling the match by also taking the fourth set with just one break of serve.
Youzhny is a long 8/1 to defeat Nadal in Saturday’s semi-final and book a place in the US Open final.
Youzhny is the least fancied at 40/1 to win the US Open title. See the full US Open tennis betting market here.