Youzhny wears down Wawrinka, into semi-finals

Thu Sep 9, 2010 11:46pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mikhail Youzhny of Russia wore down marathon man Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in five sets Thursday and advanced to the U.S. Open semi-finals.

The 12th-seeded Russian trailed two sets to one before coming back to claim a 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory in a grueling groundstroke battle on another cool, blustery day on Arthur Ashe center court.

"It was tough conditions," Youzhny told reporters. "You understand you can beat him and he can beat you. I just tried to play every point."

Wawrinka, seeded 25th, was coming off a five-set win over 20th-seeded American Sam Querrey in the fourth round following a nearly four-hour long upset of British fourth seed Andy Murray and in the end could not keep pace.

Youzhny, who also reached the semi-finals at the 2006 U.S. Open, will play top seed Rafa Nadal, who beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-3 6-4 in his quarter-final.

Wawrinka, who had spent the longest time on court among the quarter-finalists at 12 hours 27 minutes, looked like he was running out of steam, struggling with his movement and wearing a bandage on his left knee and a wrapping on his right thigh.

After dropping the fourth set and having his serve broken in the opening game of the final set he was on the ropes.

The game Swiss, playing his first grand slam quarter-final, made one last surge, breaking back to level it 2-2, reaching double break point after winning a stinging exchange of volleys at the net.   Continued...

<p>Mikhail Youzhny of Russia celebrates a point in his match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 9, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>