Roger Federer of Switzerland advanced to the semifinals of the US Open on Friday. The second seed defeated Gael Monfils of France in a hard-fought five-setter 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 at the Arthur Ashe stadium.
Going into the match the Swiss maestro was the favourite against the Frenchman. In nine matches between the two, Monfils had been victorious on only a couple of occasions.
In this encounter, he did put quite a fight. Federer, though, using all his experience and class, prevailed over the dangerous Monfils. In the end it was quite a match as Federer was stretched to a great extent and had to summon hidden reserves to come up trumps.
He expressed gratitude toward the crowd for their support as he reckoned that they were instrumental in seeing to it that he triumphed in the end.
"Unbelievable. Incredible. Think it was awesome from both sides. Thanks for supporting us, it helped me to get it done for sure," BBC Sports quoted the 17-Grand Slam winner as saying.
It was far from easy for Federer. There was a point of time when the veteran was going down a slipper slope.
"When I was down two match points I thought 'this is it', go down fighting, don't miss a shot and let him have it," he said.
The Swiss tennis maestro, however, came back into the game and saw to it that he would contest the semifinal.
"I served well and stayed in the match and somehow turned it around. I felt great in the fifth," Federer pointed out.
Federer endured a scratchy beginning to the match as Monfils emerged triumphant in the first two sets. The Frenchman was making things rather difficult for the Swiss tennis ace.
Monfils went hard at Federer throughout the contest, and in the first two sets, in particular, he had Federer all over the place. In the first set, Federer missed quite a few winners. His backhand too let him down on more than one occasion.
However, as the match progressed Federer stamped his authority on the game, but Monfils, to his credit, was not throwing in the towel. In the fourth set the Frenchman made life very difficult for Federer. It was here that Federer came back from by 5-4 down to win the set 7-5, before wrapping up the final set.
Federer's opponent in the semifinal will be Marin Cilic of Croatia, who beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4).