Federer narrowly avoids upset
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:00
Federer was off the pace from the start, producing a number of poor shots before losing the first set in the tiebreak when the defending champion sent a backhand wide to give Andreev set-point before another wayward effort saw the Russian take the first set.
The second set once again went to tiebreak. Federer raced into a 3-0 lead and although Andreev battled back to 3-6, the 27-year-old converted set-point at the third time of asking to level at one-set all.
Federer, cheered on by the crowd, started to show the form he is capable of and comfortably won the third set 6-3 but Andreev continued to battle and took the encounter to a fifth when he produced a number of impressive serves to win the fourth set 6-3.
But Federer raised his game and came through a tough contest that lasted just over three-and-a-half-hours when he claimed the fifth and final set after Andreev’s attempted lob went long. He will now face qualifier Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the last eight.
Muller had earlier progressed after defeating fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 4-6 6-3 7-6 (12/10).
The last meeting between the two players ended with a dominant 6-4 6-0 6-3 victory for Davydenko but although Muller made 45 unforced errors – 23 more than his opponent – an impressive 20 aces helped to ensure the 25-year-old from Luxembourg’s progression to the quarter-finals.
Davydenko lost the first set when he gave away a couple of points through unforced errors, and although he battled back to take the second, Muller claimed the third to move 2-1 ahead.
The fourth went to a tie-break and a double fault by Davydenko gave Muller match point before he won the tie-break and the match.
The defeat was the first for Davydenko against Muller in four career meetings and is the first time the latter has reached the quarter-final stage of the US Open in his career.