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Federer survives match points to beat Monfils

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Originally published on 05/09/14

Federer fights back from the brink to survive Monfils

Roger Federer pulled off his first Grand Slam comeback from match point down against Gael Monfils to reach the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time since 2011.

Federer, who at one stage trailed by two sets to love, saw off two match points in the fourth set before running away with the fifth in front of a rapturous Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, winning 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2 in three hours, 20 minutes.

Monfils, who has enjoyed an outstanding tournament in New York, gave Federer problems from the outset with his court coverage and unpredictability, but Federer turned the tide in the third and believed the fourth was his to win before stumbling late in the set.

"The margins are so, so slim at that point that it's not really in your control really anymore," Federer said of surviving match points at a grand slam for the first time. "He needs one net cord or something so silly. When guys wish you good luck before the match, that's when you hope it's gonna kick in.

"Today I definitely got lucky obviously. But I felt like I was forcing the issue, so maybe there was some merit from that standpoint."

Even in defeat, Monfils admitted this was a match he would one day recount to his children.

“I will tell them, Dad had a very good opportunity and he did well. He did well. I think he believed, he did believe, and that's positive. I will say that's positive and I will make sure that my children will win this one.”

 

Solid Cilic through to semis as Berdych comes up short

Marin Cilic did coach Goran Ivanisevic proud as he served 19 aces past Tomas Berdych to reach the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time, where he will face Federer.

The Croatian, who missed last year’s US Open while serving a doping ban, is through to his first grand slam semi-final in more than four years courtesy of the 6-2 6-4 7-6(4) victory.

"It was a truly amazing day for me," said Cilic, who recovered from a break down twice in the third set. "It was very gutsy in difficult conditions. I adjusted better than Tomas and I could rely on my serve. I played pretty good tactically and I am pretty happy with everything.

“I've tough times over the last couple of years and I'm really happy that things are working out. I'm enjoying my time on the court."

 

Bryans one match away from century of titles

Bob and Mike Bryan moved within one match of claiming their 100th title in tandem with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over fellow Americans Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram.

The world No.1 pair are also bidding to extend their record of winning at least one of the four Grand Slam doubles titles into a 10th year – but insist they are treating the tournament like any other.

“If we can do it, it would add something really extra special to do a Grand Slam title,” Bob Bryan said. “We're not feeling the pressure to do it in any way, because it's going to happen eventually.

“It's not like, ‘Oh, my God. We're going to be stuck on 99 forever’. We're both confident we'll knock down the title at some point. It would be cool to do it here.”

The brothers will face Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in Saturday’s final.

 

Stat of the day

14 – Number of Grand Slam titles won by the coaches of the four men’s semi-finalists at this year’s US Open: Stefan Edberg, who coaches Roger Federer, has six; Goran Ivanisevic, working with Marin Cilic, has one, as does Kei Nishikori’s mentor Michael Chang; and Boris Becker, in Novak Djokovic’s corner, has six.

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