June 29, 2017

In a Battle of Thirty-Somethings, Mikhail Youzhny Beats Lleyton Hewitt in Five Sets


(September 3, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In a battle of tennis thirty-somethings, 31-year-old Mikhail Youzhny of Russia within two points of defeat came back against 32-year-old Australian Lleyton Hewitt to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5 in the fourth round of the US Open on Tuesday.

“I’m happy now, and it was really tough match,” said the Russian.  “Of course I’m happy because I play many matches against Lleyton, and I beat him only once in the Tokyo.

“I know that he’s great player and he’s great fighting player, I mean, who is fighting every point, every match.

“For me, this way what I beat him today, it’s really important actually.”

The 21st seed Youzhny’s best performances in majors have come at the US Open, making the semifinals in both 2006 and 2010.

Hewitt, a former No. 1 won the US Open back in 2002. He is currently ranked 66th in the world due to a series of injuries.

The match swayed back and forth, the Russian went up a set and a break and then momentum swung Hewitt’s way as he went up two sets to one.

Hewitt went up 3-0 and 4-1 in the fourth set but Youzhny bounced back with a run of six straight games.

In the fifth set both men exchanged breaks, with Hewitt gaining an additional break of serve moving to 5-2 lead and was two points away from taking the match. Hewitt served for the match at 5-3, but Youzhny broke him to make it 5-4 and won the next three games to seal the match.

In the end Hewitt won more points than his opponent during the match 146-145.

“Obviously could have gone either way,” Hewitt said.  “There was a lot of momentum changes, yeah, right from the start.

“Yeah, he had a lot of different swings out there where we both played better at certain stages for three or four games.  You know, it was hard for both of us to hold our serves at times as well out there.

“You know, in the end, he played the big games when he needed to.  He didn’t give me too many cheap errors.”

“When you’re on court you just try to continue to play every match, “the Russia said in regard to the momentum swings.  “Never know what happens in the match like today.  Sometimes Lleyton help me, sometimes I play well, so it looks like 4‑1 down, but it was just one break.

“Of course we have a lot of breaks today, and you understand maybe you have chance next game or just try to be focus and continue to fight.”

“It was tough match, and sometime ‑‑ it was many times during the match when I won the many games in the row and I lost many games in the row,” he continued.  “The same like I won many points in a row then lost like many more ten points in the row.

“So it was good rally some.  It was some good points, and just try to best what you can.”

Youzhny will play No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

“I have to play well,” Youzhny said. “First of all,” Youzhny continued, “I have to recover after this match.”